Heritage Lottery Fund application for Rothesay town centre

Argyll and Bute Council has applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund for £1.5m to revitalise Rothesay’s town centre.

The submission of the Stage Two bid follows survey work earlier in the year by architects, structural engineers and surveyors on behalf of the proposed Rothesay Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI).

If the application is successful, property owners will be able to apply for renovation grants from October 2010.

The buildings surveyed were agreed with the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) at the first stage of the process last year. Those in a state of disrepair, combined with those situated in the most prominent locations, have since been confirmed as priority for grant aid.

The application therefore requests funding towards five specific buildings as well as the derelict gap site in Guildford Square which is currently filled with conifers.

In addition, the application seeks funding towards the reconstruction of a number of shop fronts on Albert Place as well as small building repairs within the THI boundary.

The application is part of the Council’s wider CHORD investment programme and targets the Guildford Square area with a view to making it a more inviting place to visit, work and live. It is hoped that, through such enhancement, the town’s economic regeneration will be stimulated.

In May 2009, the Heritage Lottery Fund announced it had awarded Argyll and Bute Council a ‘Stage One Pass’ for the Rothesay plans.

That meant that £1.5million in lottery funds had been earmarked for the scheme, provided that a fully developed Stage Two application was developed, submitted and approved within the next year.

Chair of the Rothesay CHORD Project Board, Councillor Len Scoullar, said he was delighted that the application had now been lodged: ‘These proposals represent a very significant investment in the future of Rothesay, and in enhancing the environment for both residents and visitors.

‘A great deal of work has gone into drawing up this application, including consulting with the public over what it is that they’d most like to see as regards improving the buildings in the town centre.

‘I very much hope that the Heritage Lottery Fund will look favourably on such a well researched plan, particularly when it will have such a visible impact on Rothesay’s historic town centre’.

The Heritage Lottery Fund will consider the application over the summer and will provide the council with a decision in September.

As there may be alterations to the submission during this period, should the HLF request it, the council intends to exhibit up-to-date information on the proposed THI at an Open Doors event later this year.

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