The project to refurbish Rothesay Pavilion is ready to move into the next stage, after meeting its funding target.
A £4.1m National Lottery grant, over £1m from the European Regional Development Fund and £750,000 from Historic Environment Scotland have put in place the funding needed to get work started on restoring the Grade A listed building ahead of reopening in summer 2019.
The project will see the Pavilion transformed to provide a year-round programme of changing exhibitions in a purpose designed exhibition area.
There will also be a shop selling local produce and a café/restaurant selling local food and drink.
The revamped main hall will accommodate a range of events including music, theatre, dance, sports, weddings and various community uses.
There will also be a second venue for smaller performances of music, comedy, family celebrations and community use.
The top floor of the building will provide a meeting/function room with views over Rothesay Bay as well as three new offices. One office will be occupied by Rothesay Pavilion Charity, one will be used as a multimedia studio and one will be available for rent.
The former caretaker’s house at the rear of the site will also take on a new lease of life, providing three independent offices for local businesses along with a shared meeting room and office resources.
The new facility is expected to employ over 30 people.
Councillor Gary Mulvaney, Depute Leader of Argyll and Bute Council and policy lead for strategic finance and capital regeneration programme said: “The fundraising target was ambitious – it had to be, to deliver a revitalised Pavilion that will be a key attraction for residents and visitors alike.
“I would like to thank everyone involved in reaching this extremely exciting stage in the transformation of Rothesay Pavilion.”
Julia Twomlow, chief executive and artistic director of Rothesay Pavilion Charity said: “Securing this additional funding is a marker of the architectural and historic importance of Rothesay Pavilion, which is recognised at a national level.
“It is great news for the Rothesay Pavilion restoration project, but also for the town as a whole.
“The project is only one of an exciting range of development initiatives for Rothesay over the next couple of years, which we are proud to be a part of.’
The £14 million target has been reached with contributions from a range of funders.
Lucy Casot, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, added: “This wonderful Pavilion is evocative of Rothesay’s heyday as a thriving tourist resort.
“Its resurgence as a cultural venue for the local community and visitors will not only save an important piece of the Bute’s heritage but will have a positive impact on the regeneration of this town.”
The contract to begin restoration work on the building is expected to be awarded later this autumn.