Johnny Bute strikes a chord for studio plan

A visualisation of the studio space proposed for Rothesay Pavilion.
A visualisation of the studio space proposed for Rothesay Pavilion.

Rothesay Pavilion has received a pledge of £117,000 for the creation of a new youth music and media studio within the pavilion redevelopment.

This substantial donation comes from the West Coast Foundation, which is the Marquess of Bute – Johnny Bute’s personal foundation. It covers 70 per cent of the costs for building and equipping the studio, with the rest paid for by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Situated within the pavilion’s rooftop development, the bespoke music and media facility will be led by and for the young people of Bute. Titled ‘45RPM’ (45 – the street number of the pavilion, RPM – Rothesay Pavilion Multimedia), the studio will be available to use for band practices and music lessons, as well as digital recording, filmmaking, photography and specialised training in stage and event management. 45RPM will also have access to the new second venue and other spaces in the pavilion where the group will input directly to programming and event management.

Julia Twomlow, chief executive of Rothesay Pavilion Charity, said: “Music making is such an important part of the cultural life of Bute, for all ages, but there are very few facilities for young people here.

“The West Coast Foundation’s donation is a huge boost to the pavilion project, but more importantly it provides real, tangible opportunities for the next generation as an outlet for their creativity, and to increase their confidence and skills.”

The West Coast Foundation was founded by Johnny Bute in 2014 with the primary purpose of supporting initiatives in the Argyll and Bute region.

Johnny Bute said: “I am delighted to support this important project. The success of the pavilion is a key factor in the island’s drive to improve the local economy.

“Mount Stuart Trust and Rothesay Pavilion Charity, alongside our community, are working together to maximise every available opportunity, to collaborate in a concerted and determined effort to ensure a successful outcome to our mutual aspirations.”

The final phase of building work at Rothesay Pavilion has now started on site with contractors, CBC from Glasgow, and is due for completion in July 2019, with the re-opening expected in the autumn.