Outline designs for the new-look Rothesay Pavilion have been agreed by local councillors.
Members of Argyll and Bute Council’s Bute and Cowal area committee have approved an indicative design for the building which will form the basis of a business plan as well as planning and funding applications.
The next stage involves making an application for planning and listed building consent and applying for funding for the restoration project.
A business plan is currently being drafted which should be finalised by the end of the summer and will then go before the same committee: if the business plan results in funding being secured, a full business case for the project will go before the council early next year.
Subject to that business case being approved, the project will be developed and contractors appointed later in 2015, with the building closing in the autumn of next year and work, likely to take around 18 months, starting in early 2016.
If all goes to plan the newly-renovated Pavilion will open its doors in mid-2017.
The outline design includes the following potential features (though the final design is dependent on enough outside funding being secured):
* In the main hall: full upgrade, including back of house facilities, the creation of a second bar and a goods lift to the lower floor below to allow storage of equipment.
* Mackinlay Street wing: creation of space for a second performance and community venue.
* On the roof: a new extension to provide let-able offices and multi-function space.
* On the first floor: a new café with an improved and enlarged catering kitchen, improved storage and new toilets
* On the ground floor: enhancement of the foyer, an open plan box office/shop, a multi-purpose exhibition space, toilets, staff office, staff changing and shower facilities, a lift and a disabled access ramp to the main entrance.
* Infrastructure: a full mechanical and electrical upgrade including the installation of a lift to all floors
* Outside: full repairs.
A spokesperson said: “In arriving at these designs the council worked closely with local people and is moving forward with a philosophy for the building that reflects the desires of the community.
“The drawings were on display in the Pavilion for two months, guided tours were arranged and a community consultation event in early April was well attended. The community has engaged positively with the design proposals
“Going forward the council is still eager to hear the views of local people and will be working with them along the way.
“This is a key part of the council’s investment in Bute and its ambition to stimulate the local economy and will follow on from the hugely successful Townscape Heritage Initiative, which has done fantastic work to restore a number of town centre buildings to their former glory.”