Millions of pounds in funding for Rothesay regeneration

The Discovery Centre is due to receive renovation work as part of the project.
The Discovery Centre is due to receive renovation work as part of the project.

Rothesay is set to receive more than £2m in funding, to go towards regeneration of the town centre.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has granted £1.9m to the scheme, with Argyll and Bute Council having already committed £200,000 and Historic Environment Scotland providing £500,000 to the Rothesay Townscape Heritage Initiative.

The building on the corner of Montague Street and Tower Street, one of the buildings that will be the subject of repair work.

The building on the corner of Montague Street and Tower Street, one of the buildings that will be the subject of repair work.

Money will go toward repairing and renovating five ‘priority buildings’ on Victoria Street and Montague Street, as well as the Discovery Centre.

Some of the affected shopfronts will include Bussey’s Beds and Carpets on the corner of Victoria Street and Tower Street, and the now-closed butcher’s shop on Montague Street.

The first phase of the Rothesay Townscape Heritage project ended last year, and saw funding directed toward repair and renovation of many buildings in the town, including Guildford Court and Duncan’s Halls.

A spokesperson for the Bute Island Alliance (BIA) said: “As a key partner, BIA was involved in helping the council team to better understand how some of the community ambitions expressed through the Remaking Rothesay Charrette could be incorporated into the overall bid through some pilot learning projects.

The closed butcher's shop on Montague Street, which is one of the buildings that will be renovated over the next five years.

The closed butcher's shop on Montague Street, which is one of the buildings that will be renovated over the next five years.

“Our congratulations go to the THI team and to everyone in the community who has helped. The success of the bid shows how a collaborative approach to island challenges can open up real opportunities for creating a stronger, more resilient local economy for the benefit of everyone.”

Grace Strong, leader of Bute Community Council, told the Buteman: “I am absolutely delighted as I’m sure all the council members are. I would hope the work starts soon and will be carried out to the same high standard of what has already gone on.

“I was born and brought up in Rothesay, and I remember how nice the front really used to be.”

Councillor Aileen Morton, Leader of Argyll and Bute Council, said: “This is really welcome news from the Heritage Lottery Fund and a huge investment for Rothesay.

“Residents and visitors will see positive changes and the Townscape Heritage scheme is a clear demonstration of our commitment with partners, including the Heritage Lottery Fund, to regenerate the historic town centre.

“Our aim is to attract people to come and live, work and do business in our town centres across Argyll and Bute and attracting investment is a crucial part of our work in building prosperity.

“This scheme will complement the work being carried out to renovate the town’s iconic Pavilion and build on the success of the first phase of the Rothesay Townscape Heritage Initiative which saw over £3m of investment between 2011 and 2016.

“We are looking forward to continuing the momentum and working closely with the local community and key partners, such as Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Bute Island Alliance, to make Rothesay attractive, well-maintained and vibrant once again.”