A glimmer of hope for Rothesay’s West Church?

The former West Church in Argyle Street is to be demolished by the end of the year due to public safety concerns, according to Argyll and Bute Council.
The former West Church in Argyle Street is to be demolished by the end of the year due to public safety concerns, according to Argyll and Bute Council.

With the news that Argyll and Bute Council intends to demolish the former West Church by the end of the year due to public safety concerns, there may be a glimmer of hope from one island resident.

Paul Duffy, of Bute-based organisation Brandanii Archaeology and Heritage, told The Buteman: “From looking at a couple of emails people have sent me and the response on your Facebook page, it seems people don’t want it to be demolished.

“I’ve made a couple of phone-calls and there’s a window of opportunity to see if the community wants to save it. It doesn’t mean it will be saved, but there’s a window and I think the council would be receptive to ideas.”

Paul intends to hold a public meeting at the Pavilion on Monday, September 22, at 7.30pm, and would like to invite anyone interested in saving the building to come and share their ideas.

He continued: “There’s also an opportunity to invite wider bodies. I’ve been talking with Strathclyde Building Preservation Trust and they’ve shared some thoughts. If people are enthusiastic and want to help, then we’ll have to identify some options.

“If the council has no other option to demolish, then fair enough, but it’d be a shame if we couldn’t at least say we tried to save it.”

Strathclyde Building Preservation Trust has produced a document which looks into new uses for former church buildings. It may be of use to anyone interested in looking at options for saving the West Church from demolition. Click here to view the report.

To speak to Paul in greater detail about the matter, you can email him at discoverbutearchaeology@googlemail.com.

* Read the full article in The Buteman, on sale from today (Thursday, September 11).