News from the districts – April 23, 2021

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Campbeltown

This month marks 10 years since Campbeltown charity Shopper-Aide was founded.

The charity provides support and services – including shopping, housekeeping and (in normal circumstances) social activities – for those in Kintyre aged over 60.

Over the past decade, and during the last year in particular, Shopper-Aide has become a lifeline for many older people.

The charity’s founder, Susan Paterson, said: ‘It was 2009 when the seeds were planted at the South Kintyre Fit Communities about the need to develop a shopping service to help older people on discharge from hospital, no longer able to drive or to carry heavy bags.

‘Since then, we have provided not just a shopping service but a number of social activities and housekeeping throughout Kintyre. We have developed the Making Kintyre Dementia Friendly project to help all parts of the community to have an understanding of dementia and how it can be managed. We have worked with children of all ages, meeting and helping the older generation and look forward to doing so again.

‘Thanks to everyone who has been involved in any way with Shopper-Aide – it has been and, I hope, will continue to be, a help to the older generations in Kintyre.’

Oban

The Argyllshire Gathering has announced a new piping competition to celebrate the 150th anniversary of its inauguration.

The Argyllshire Gathering Intermediate Piping Championship will be a competition for pipers 22 years and under.

For the first year, with the uncertainty of competitions going ahead, it has been decided to have an invitational competition with a maximum of eight competitors.

The event will be held on Saturday October 2 in the chapel at Lochnell Castle with the kind permission of the Earl of Dundonald and will be hosted by his son Lord Archie Cochrane.

The competition will be held in two stages. A piobaireachd competition (four
tunes own choice) followed by an MSR (four tunes of each own choice).

The champion would have scored the highest aggregate points over the two competitions.

The hope is that this new competition will act as a springboard for talented young pipers in preparation for senior piobaireachd competitions.

Rothesay

A decision on the next steps forward for Rothesay Pavilion’s restoration project is expected in the coming weeks.

Councillor Gary Mulvaney, Argyll and Bute Council’s policy lead for major projects, confirmed that two companies were in the running to take on the main contract.

The future of the pavilion’s £15 million restoration has been in limbo since its main contractor went into administration last year.

Councillor Mulvaney gave the latest details on the project in a report to the full council at its virtual meeting on Thursday, April 15.

He said: ‘Following the demise of the original contractor, specialist surveys of the works completed on site have taken place to enable us to procure a replacement contractor.

‘The final element of this work (the structural concrete surveys), has been completed and the design team are now analysing the results to inform their drawings, specifications etc.

‘On the commercial front, the project team has engaged with two national construction framework providers to assess their suitability and capability in providing the construction works through to completion.

‘A decision on the procurement route to utilise for the project is expected within the next few weeks.

‘Officers have also been working with our funding partners and the Rothesay Pavilion Charity (RPC) to assess what this means for the transition to the operational phase for the building, as well the development of the operational business model by the RPC in a post-Covid environment.’