The new charity which will eventually take over the running of the refurbished Rothesay Pavilion met for the first time on Monday.
The charity, which is currently in the process of becoming a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO), has ten directors, six of whom live on Bute, while the remaining four live elsewhere but have strong connections with the island.
The organisation has already begun working with the building’s owners, Argyll and Bute Council, and other stakeholders to develop the transformation of the Pavilion into a vibrant artistic and cultural venue.
The ten directors are:
Maria Balshaw, director of Manchester City Galleries and Whitworth Art Gallery; has a house on Bute.
Emma Cooper, formerly manager of Bute Forest, extensive third sector experience; lives on Bute.
Allison Harley, owner of Simply Buteiful shop in Rothesay; lives on Bute.
Ian Jack, columnist and writer with The Guardian; lives in London, and has a house on Bute.
Nicola Jones, artist, extensive community experience; Voluntary Arts Ambassador for Argyll & Bute; lives on Bute.
Catrin Kemp, Glasgow-based freelance arts professional.
Dorothy McDonald, manager of Achievement Bute; lives on Bute.
Dr Nick Merriman (chair), director of Manchester Museum. Has a house on Bute.
Tim Saul, director of the Isle of Bute Jazz Festival and restaurant owner; lives on Bute.
Phyllis Steel, arts practitioner with over 35 years experience; lives on Bute.
Dr Merriman said the directors planned to seek the input of local community members in shaping the project over the next few months and to work closely with existing project managers, consultants and local councillors to give the building a new lease of life and help improve the quality of life on the island.
Commenting on the recent news that a £975,000 bid to Creative Scotland had been turned down, Dr Merriman said: “No capital project achieves a one hundred per cent success rate in all of its funding bids, so I don’t see this as a significant setback.
“We have already identified a series of additional potential funding sources that will fill this gap, and I am confident that the project will be able to proceed as planned.”
The Pavilion project, with a total value of £7 million, has already received a ‘stage one’ commitment from the Heritage Lottery Fund for £2.63 million, though that money will not be awarded until the HLF has approved more detailed plans for the building, expected to be submitted in November.
The project has also been allocated £1.85 million from the council’s CHORD programme, set up with the aim of regenerating the area’s five main towns of Campbeltown, Helensburgh, Oban, Rothesay and Dunoon.
The building, one of Britain’s finest examples of international-style Modernism, was designed by J.A. Carrick and opened to the public in July 1938.