‘Pavilion doesn’t need funding’

A FORMER island resident has spoken out against the recent funding success for Rothesay Pavilion’s restoration, stating it would be better spent elsewhere.

In a letter to the editor in this week’s Buteman, Mr Stephen Johnstone of Ardentinny states: “I’m sorry to write this letter, but I don’t think Rothesay needs to have £2.6 million spent on the Pavilion (Page 1, November 23 edition). Better to channel it into the town centre.

“The Pavilion is outwith the scope of people walking to a venue. It’s just a source of memories of the old days. We live in the 21st century now, so the time has come to think of how and what we can do to bring tourists back to our once bonny ‘doon the watter’ destination and make the pubs, cafes, amusements and putting greens bursting at the seams again.

“Better to spend all these regeneration grants, and all this wind farm revenue, on better links to and from the island. There’s no point having a state-of-the-art Pavilion wasting electricity and jobs.

“Someone said Rothesay was a ghost town all year round. Rothesay has eyesores, so let’s fix them. Forget these disputes about wind farms - they’ll go up anyway, so let’s just take the revenue to compensate. If we’re not careful this town will go under, like many businesses, in the not too distant future.

“As a true Brandane I’m sad to see the future of Bute like this. Let’s concentrate on bringing down ferry fares, not opposing wind farms or spending money on out-of-date memories and properties that should be demolished. Bute is off the tourist map, and will be until you fix the crossing of the Clyde.”

In a letter received yesterday, an Ardbeg resident has strongly disagreed with Mr Johnstone’s views.

Eleanor Black told us: “I have to take issue with Stephen Johnstone’s letter “Pavilion cash would be better spent elsewhere.

“More informed people than me could argue the case for restoring The Pavilion to its former glory but I do know that The Pavilion is an example of buildings of the Art Deco period. I believe that it has a ‘twin’ somewhere down south. To me, it is very beautiful and I had the privilege, on an Open Day, of a guided tour of the entire building including the basement which is used for several clubs. Also the grounds at the rear which include the former Caretaker’s house.

“Apart from its unique features, The Pavilion is a vital community building in terms of its theatre, its cafe, its regular use by various clubs/societies. It is also used as a wedding venue and during last winter’s ‘blackout’, the Pavilion very much played its part in being a focal point for people to gather in and for food and hot drinks to be distributed/obtained. Also, during the time that the swimming pool/leisure centre was closed, the Pavilion was used as a gym.

“I am sorry, Stephen, but there was not one point made by you in your letter that I agreed with. Am I wrong in thinking that Ardentinny is across the loch? If you perhaps came to live on Bute, you would be in a better position to view beautiful Bute in a more positive way.”

* Tell us what you think. Write to us at The Buteman, 5 Victoria Street, Rothesay, Isle of Bute PA20 0AJ or by emailing news@buteman.com. Please include your name and address for publication purposes.