News from around the districts

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Busy castle bees

Tarbert Castle Trust is looking for helpers for its monthly work party on Saturday October 7.

Everyone is welcome at the castle from 10am to tackle various maintenance jobs.

The castle orchard bees appear to be doing well. The trust is hoping to organise a beginners’ bee keeping evening soon when people can find out about how bees are cared for and what equipment is needed.


Biggest and best

Last month’s Best of the West (BoW) Festival at Inveraray Castle attracted more than 6,000 people, according to organisers.

Figures show 89 per cent of the visitors came from outwith Argyll and Bute and generated more than £2 million for the local economy, making it the biggest and best BoW to date.

A survey of those attending revealed more than 98 per cent said they would recommend the three-day festival to a friend.

Isle of Bute

Revamp for pavilion

Rothesay’s famous pavilion is to be restored to its former glory after a £14 million fundraising target was met.

A £4.1 million National Lottery grant, more than £1 million from the European Regional Development Fund and £750,000 from Historic Environment Scotland means work can start on restoring the Grade A listed building.

The project will see the pavilion transformed to provide a year-round programme of exhibitions, a shop and café/restaurant, while the main hall will accommodate a range of events including music, theatre, dance, sports, weddings and various community uses.
A second venue for smaller performances and a new top floor for meetings and functions will also be created.
The new centre is expected to employ more than 30 people and attract more than 70,000 visits per year.

The contract is expected to be awarded later this autumn, with a view to work starting before Christmas. The target completion date for the project is July 2019.


Ava’s charity push

Primary one pupil Ava McNaught is climbing a hill and taking part in her first pageant in aid of two special charities.

Ava, 5, from Lochgoilhead, is competing next month in the final of Junior Miss Scotland, an event that raises awareness and funds for the United Together Foundation which tackles bullying, racism and discrimination.

Ava will also be raising money for Scottish Autism. Her four-year-old brother Liam has autism and the family hope to raise awareness and understanding of this condition.

During the October holidays, Ava and Liam will be joined by other family members and some of Ava’s classmates in a sponsored climb of The Steeple, a 378 metre high hill behind Lochgoilhead.

Any funds raised will be split between the two charities.

Ava’s family has set up a fundraising page – – which closes on October 24. The Junior Miss Scotland pageant takes place on Sunday November 5 in Glasgow.


Ava and Liam are getting ready to climb for charity. no_a40AvaFundraising02