Dunoon Burgh Hall is considered the town’s most important civic building. Neglected and largely disused for more than 20 years, its doors finally reopened in May 2009, following a long-running community campaign to retain the building. Since then Dunoon Burgh Hall Trust has delivered a growing programme of events, exhibitions and activities and plans are now well developed for the major refurbishment needed to improve the building significantly for the future.
Dunoon Burgh Hall Trust is committed to returning the Burgh Hall to the heart of the community as a sustainable, accessible arts-led venue and will achieve this by encouraging and inspiring current and future generations to engage in diverse cultural opportunities and work together to create a thriving facility.
With the Burgh Hall once again established as a thriving cultural hub we hope to create an exciting addition to the cultural and community life of Dunoon and the wider area. With the support of our funding partners we hope that this vision will soon become reality.
The Story So Far
In 2008 the John McAslan Family Trust purchased the building from Fyne Homes for £1, then committed over £75,000 for essential repairs, bringing it back into partial use from May 2009. The John McAslan Family Trust also supported the development of a high-quality gallery space to host the prestigious ARTIST ROOMS Robert Mapplethorple exhibition in 2012.
Dunoon Burgh Hall Trust was established in 2009 following partnership working between JMFT, the Friends of the Burgh Hall, a range of stakeholders, the local community and Strathclyde Building Preservation Trust. Ownership of the building was transferred to this locally controlled charity in 2013.
In 2011 the project received a Repair Grant award from Historic Scotland and Round 1 Heritage Grant funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. This was then matched by an award from the Argyll & The Islands LEADER Programme and from the Architectural Heritage Fund. More recently in 2013 Creative Scotland provided Capital Development funding. This complex package of funding has allowed the development of a fully costed design plan for the refurbishment of Dunoon Burgh Hall. It has also supported the delivery of a pilot creative programme, which has served as action research for the Dunoon Burgh Hall Trust Business Plan.
The transformation of the hall is being delivered in stages:
The brief for the first stage was simple: bring the Hall back into use.
Structural surveys were commissioned, essential building work was done and strategies were developed for the Hall’s future use. The list of work done during this stage included basic roof repairs, plumbing, heating and electrical work, dry and wet rot remedial works, fire-proofing to the boiler room, cleaning and decorating.
Strathclyde Building Preservation Trust was appointed to develop the project delivery plan and funding applications to Historic Scotland, The Heritage Lottery Fund, the Architectural Heritage Fund and Argyll & The Islands Leader. The part-time posts of Venue Manager & Administrator and Arts & Heritage Programme Co-ordinator were established to develop and deliver a pilot programme of activities and to support our many volunteers.
In 2012 Strathclyde Building Preservation Trust was appointed to act as Project Co-ordinator for the development of the full capital project. A consultant team was procured, led by Page & Park Architects, and a programme of consultation, surveys and design was set in motion. This work informed our Round 2 Heritage Grant application to the Heritage Lottery Fund and our Round One application to Creative Scotland’s Large Capital funding programme. Both applications were successful and a Round Two application to Creative Scotland has now been submitted. Funding support for the capital project has also been confirmed from The Monument Trust and additional applications are currently being assessed by The Big Lottery Fund and Highlands & Island Enterprise. If all applications are successful, it is hoped that a fully-funded refurbishment programme can begin early in 2015 for completion in 2016.
This web-site will be updated regularly to keep everyone up to date with our progress and you can also visit the SBPT web-site at www.sbpt.org.uk for further information.