A new approach to managing Bute’s historic buildings?

The main building at the former Rothesay Academy.
The main building at the former Rothesay Academy.

A pilot study is being carried out on Bute to test a new approach to management of the island’s historic buildings - or some of them, at any rate.

The study forms part of a new ‘historic environment strategy’, created by Argyll and Bute Council, which is out for public consultation until September 14.

The pilot scheme - with the official aim of “creating an improved methodology for asset disposal” - involves the council creating a map of all its own assets on the island and cross-checking that against information on the island’s historic environment held by Historic Scotland.

“The pilot,” the strategy document says, “will look at our assets in a holistic fashion and consider the management of each depending on the various

plans, aspirations, market possibilities and constraints.

“It is also recognised that we have to be realistic and recognise that we cannot save every dilapidated historic building.”

That could result in a less rigid approach being taken with structures such as the main building at the old Rothesay Academy (pictured), which is owned by the council but has lain empty and increasingly derelict since the school moved to its new shared campus at Townhead in 2007, hamstrung on the one hand by a lack of cash to develop the buiding, and on the other by its being designated a category B listed building by Historic Scotland, which prevents its demolition.

The strategy document can be found at this link, while you can give your responses to the document’s proposals by clicking here.