Rothesay town centre gap site set for rebirth

Linda McLaughlan from Argyll College UHI and Bute In Bloom chair Jessica Herriot at the soon-to-be-redeveloped gap site in Rothesay's Montague Street.
Linda McLaughlan from Argyll College UHI and Bute In Bloom chair Jessica Herriot at the soon-to-be-redeveloped gap site in Rothesay's Montague Street.

A new lease of life is set to be breathed into a long-neglected ‘gap site’ in the centre of Rothesay thanks to the Stalled Spaces Scotland project.

Work on landscaping the site in Montague Street - opposite the town’s Superdrug store, and behind the Victoria Hotel - is expected to get under way in the week beginning April 18.

The work, which is expected to last until late May or early June, will be carried out with the help of a £2,500 grant from Stalled Spaces Scotland to Argyll College UHI, with support from Argyll and Bute Council and the Bute in Bloom community group.

Information on the history of the site - which has lain vacant since a block of shops and flats was demolished on safety grounds in the 1990s - will be provided by local historian and archaeologist Paul Duffy of Brandanii Archaeology and Heritage, while students from Argyll College UHI’s NPA Construction course will also be involved, under the leadership of tutor Paul Simpson.

Linda McLaughlan, manager of Argyll College UHI’s Rothesay learning centre, said: “The project will be starting soon, so if anyone wants to volunteer with this project please contact the college on (01700) 501000.”

Bute In Bloom chair Jessica Herriot added: “This project shows the community is now quite ready to take on the maintenance of areas of the town and to help make sure we have a town that we can be proud of.”

The Stalled Spaces Scotland financial support was awarded last July and was originally meant to be used to tackle a site on the corner of Watergate and Castle Street, but the funders agreed to transfer the focus of the work to Montague Street, so that the Watergate site can be used to provide additional parking for residents of the Old Courthouse development on Castle Street.

Stalled Spaces Scotland is a Legacy 2014 programme inspired by Stalled Spaces Glasgow, supported by Architecture and Design Scotland, Argyll and Bute Council and the Scottish Government.