More to come for Rothesay townscape?

The south side of Guildford Square in Rothesay, where two existing blocks have been renovated and a new building erected under the auspices of the Townscape Heritage Initiative.
The south side of Guildford Square in Rothesay, where two existing blocks have been renovated and a new building erected under the auspices of the Townscape Heritage Initiative.

Rothesay’s Townscape Heritage Initiative is now in its final year - but the completion of the scheme may not be the end of the story for the town’s built environment.

The five-year project, supported by £2.6 million in public funding, has been so successful that Argyll and Bute Council is now considering whether to bid for more THI cash which could help regenerate other parts of the town.

Fergus Murray, the authority’s head of economic development, told the authority’s Bute and Cowal area committee this week: “All the Rothesay THI money has now been committed, and all the major buildings are nearing completion.

“The council is looking at the possibility of a further THI - we believe Rothesay is the best place for that kind of initiative, and my colleagues are looking at buildings which could be part of that.”

The scaffolding has now been removed from all the new and refurbished buildings on the south side of Guildford Square - including 5-9 Montague Street, which is not actually one of the THI’s priority repair buildings, but is being renovated and extended by local firm George Hanson Building Contractors with support from the THI’s small building repair grants fund.

The THI, which will conclude on March 31, 2016, has awarded grants to 68 property owners for comprehensive repairs to four tenements, smaller scale repairs to a further eight properties, restoration or replacement of 12 shop fronts and redevelopment of the prominent gap site at 15-19 Montague Street.