Public art on the Esplanade, a low-speed zone along Victoria Street and Argyle Street with narrower lanes for traffic, and making part of High Street a ‘shared space’ with greater access for pedestrians are just a few of the ideas suggested in the course of ‘Remaking Rothesay’ earlier this year.
The suggestions for the centre of the town also include ‘pedestrian priority’ areas in Victoria Street, outside the Isle of Bute Discovery Centre, and in Albert Place at the pedestrian access point to and from the pier.
The ideas put forward during ‘Remaking Rothesay’ - held in the Discovery Centre at the end of February - were published this week in a report on the initial findings of the event, organised by the Glasgow design firm of Ice Cream Architecture.
The ‘spatial strategy’ for the town centre also features low-speed zones in a more pedestrian-friendly ‘cultural quarter’ around Rothesay Castle, and a sequence of civic spaces leading from the pier through the centre of the town and towards the refurbished Rothesay Pavilion.
Other key needs identified in the Remaking Rothesay report include:
* Collective promotion of a ‘Bute Brand’
* Reinventing the Discovery Centre as a central hub for both locals and tourists
* Creating a shared booking system and combining the various Bute events calendars into one
* Establishing an improvement scheme for shop fronts, public buildings and pavements, led by community organisations and business owners
* Giving support to the owners of properties deemed ‘at risk’ such as the Royal Hotel and the former Rothesay Academy
* Providing space for new businesses to set up and for existing businesses to expand where required.
Ice Cream Architecture’s final report should be published within the next two or three weeks and will provide a framework for the Alliance for Action and its various partners, such as the Mount Stuart Trust, Argyll and Bute Council and the Isle of Bute Trust, to begin work on the regeneration of both the town and the island.