Mount Stuart to showcase Bute development plans

Woodend House is one of the properties identified by the Mount Stuart Trust for inclusion in an investment programme worth more than �8 million.
Woodend House is one of the properties identified by the Mount Stuart Trust for inclusion in an investment programme worth more than �8 million.

The Mount Stuart Trust is to hold an exhibition on Bute next week giving more details of a major development project for the island.

The three-year initiative, which was unveiled in February, will be the subject of an exhibition at the visitor centre in the Mount Stuart grounds on August 4 and 5.

The project is being funded by an investment by the Trust in excess of £8 million and is potentially one of the largest rural regeneration projects on a Scottish estate.

The exhibition will be open to the public from 11am-7.30pm on Monday, August 4 and from 11am–6pm on Tuesday, August 5.

Connie Lovel, chief executive of the Trust, said: “This is a major development project on the island that will transform historic and unused buildings and offer residential homes and self-catering holiday-let accommodation as part of one of the most extensive developments of recent years.

“Work has continued apace on this significant project and the Trust will be displaying materials outlining progress. On both days, members of the design team, including architects Page\Park and the project management team, will be on hand to discuss the current progress made.

“The exhibition will feature drawings and other visuals as well as the design philosophy which includes sustainability principles.”

Key elements of the project include the regeneration of multiple sites on Bute, innovative renovation of farm steadings and the provision of both homes to rent and self-catering holiday accommodation

Sites set to be included in the development include Ambrismore, near Scalpsie, where an existing stone byre will be converted to a four-bedroom family home and three new build homes will form a cluster of energy efficient dwellings for rent; Woodend, on the western shore of Loch Fad, where a B-listed Georgian house will be restored to provide unique self-catering holiday let accommodation for larger groups; and Quien, also near Scalpsie, where two existing buildings will be converted to provide self-catering holiday-let accommodation - including one property which will be designed specifically to provide disabled-friendly accommodation with appropriate access and manoeuvrability within the house.

The project will run in conjunction with the estate’s Accelerated Refurbishment Programme which upgrades estate-owned properties. The first phase of the programme saw £600,000 spent on a number of properties, including Lubas farmhouse and the historic Brick Cottages in Kingarth, while a similar sum will be spent on the second phase.

The Trust is also working with farmers on the island by part-funding participation in Whole Farm Reviews, enabling farmers to assess the viability of their farms and potential for business development.