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HIE investment helps plug economic gap in Rothesay

29 January 2014

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has agreed an investment of £234,500 to help lay the foundations for a viable future at a long-term derelict gap site in Rothesay.

The grant is being made through the agency as part of the ‘Support for Land Remediation Scheme’ which helps bring derelict sites back into use. Since a tenement block was demolished in Guildford Square 25 years ago the site has been considered an eyesore by locals and visitors.

The funding will help local building firm George Hanson (Building Contractors) Ltd address a range of additional abnormal site costs, including ring beam foundations, stabilisation of gables and underpinning works to adjoining buildings.

The company reached agreement on the acquisition of the site from Argyll & Bute Council last July. It has since received planning permission for a mixed use scheme involving retail on the ground floor with housing above. The project will also receive grant support from the Rothesay Townscape Heritage Initiative which seeks to restore the architecture heritage of the town centre.

HIE Area Manager Douglas Cowan said: “We are delighted to have been able to agree this funding which makes a redevelopment viable. The site has been vacant for many years and due to its central location creates a negative impression for visitors. Hopefully our funding will enable work to proceed.”

George Hanson Contractors are based in Rothesay and have worked in the community for over 30 years. Work has already started on clearing the site and making good the gables of adjoining tenements.

Managing Director, George Hanson said: “I am grateful to HIE for bringing the impetus needed to get this project off the ground. Redevelopment of the gap site will make a major contribution to restoring Rothesay’s Town Centre and I am glad to be a part of that process.“


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