£8m Revamp of Rothesay Pavilion To Go Ahead

An artist's impression of the renovated Rothesay Pavilion, opening summer 2017

With the award of £3 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), Argyll and Bute Council’s £8 million project to renovate Rothesay’s iconic Art Deco Pavilion has been given the green light.

HLF’s £3 million is the final piece in the funding jigsaw, with finance also provided from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Historic Scotland (HS), the Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) and the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF).

‘A fabulous, modern facility for culture, tourism and sport’

“With all the major funding in place, we can now get on with delivering the project and creating a fabulous, modern facility for culture, tourism and sport,” said leader of Argyll and Bute Council, Councillor Dick Walsh. “The council’s top priority is creating the right conditions for jobs in Argyll and Bute and this project will do just that.”

The Provost of Argyll and Bute, Rothesay-based Councillor Len Scoullar, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled with this news.

“The renovated Pavilion will provide the people of Bute, as well as visitors to the island, with a fantastic facility that they can be proud of. Rothesay Pavilion will act as a community and cultural centre, attracting visitors and boosting the local economy.

‘It’s very exciting’

Chair of the Pavilion’s charity, Dr Nick Merriman, said: “I’m delighted HLF has given such backing to the project. As well as providing support for the refurbishment of the building, their funding will allow the employment of an Engagement Officer to work with local schools and community members, and later on a Director who will develop the artistic and cultural programme.

“It’s very exciting now to be at the point where we can begin to put into action the plans that have been developed over a long period, and to look forward to the re-opened Pavilion making such a difference to people’s lives locally.”

The Pavilion, which opened in 1938, is set to close in the autumn of 2015, when a special Grand Closing Weekend, celebrating the building’s past, present and future, will be held on September 4, 5 and 6. Construction work is scheduled to begin in January 2016, with a view to the newly-renovated facility – which will host major festivals and events, indoor sports, exhibitions, weddings, parties and conferences as well as providing a range of community facilities – opening in the summer of 2017.


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Rothesay Pavilion

  • Rothesay Pavilion was built in the Big Band era and was designed to host dancing and conference events as well as flower shows, weddings and sports activities.
  • Rothesay Pavilion is at the end of the town’s Victorian Esplanade, with views of Rothesay Bay, the Cowal Peninsula and the Renfrewshire and Ayrshire coasts
  • Rothesay Pavilion is one of the finest and most significant surviving examples of 1930’s Art Deco architecture in Scotland.