And there is nothing for Rothesay – which must be the most appalling mess of an unable town centre in the country – not that the level of disbursements from a paltry fund of £2.78 million for the whole of Scotland could do more than tart up the facade of a single town centre.
The fund was announced as recently as November by Local Government Minister, Derek Mackay. It was then £2 million but has been increased to £2.75 million – to allow more town centres to be included.
It is not a town centre regeneration fund as such either, It is a town centre housing fund/
This cannot address the problems of the functi0n of town centres today. It can only – by planting people in now run down town centre buildings – with the wretchedly small sums available - make our town centres indistinguishable from the formless and graceless suburban precincts that surround them.
The town centre in Rothesay in Bute has been in urgent need of serious revision for longer than any responsible local government can defend. It is significantly in the worst state of Argyll’s five bigger towns, with Dunoon and Helensburgh tied in second place.
Rothesay is as close to irrecoverable as one would wish to see.
While pennies from this piddling and wrong-headed fund would make no difference to it – the startling issue is that it has not even registered on the Scottish Government’s ‘need’ radar.
Has it’s own Council been pressing its case? The Chair of the Bute and Cowal Area Committee is a Bute councillor. Is this crisis situation on the Area Committee’s agenda?
For information, the £2.78 million Town Centre Housing Fund has made the following disbursements:
- Clackmananshire Council: £782,000 – to create 17 homes in Alva [or £46,000 per home].
- Fife Council: £764,000 – to create 18 homes in Cupar [or £42,222 per home]
- Angus Council: £200,00 – for an unspecified number of homes in Carnoustie High Street.
- East Dunbartonshire Council: £200,000 – for 6 homes in Townhead, Kirkintilloch [or £33,333 per home].
Other disbursements have been made direct to housing associations:
- Castle Rock Edinvar HA: £350,000 for 7 homes in in Tranent in East Lothian [or £50,000 per home].
- Kingdom HA: £225,523 – for 14 homes in the old Crown Hotel in Crieff in Perthshire [or £16,108 per home].
- Clyde Valley HA: £125,000 – for 7 homes in Coatbridge [or £17,857 per home].
These leave under £5k in the kitty – which will make a difference somewhere?