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An exciting three-way collaboration between the Isle of Bute Business Improvement District (BBID), Robert Henshelwood of the Isle of Bute Artists Collective (IBAC) and Historic Scotland has created their first ever Bute arts installation projected onto Rothesay Castle in the centre of the town. Exhibiting three very different art pieces: Robert Henshelwood’s ‘Mack likes to be different’, Stephen Doak’s ‘Scaling Up’, and a projected relief of Mount Stuart House's stained-glass windows designed by Horatio Walter Lonsdale, the works make quite the impact.


This is the culmination of an idea that came from Jen Dougal of the Bute BID to make winter use of the outdoor projectors purchased for the annual BID Christmas Illumination light up from last year, 'these projectors are a fantastic asset for the island and can showcase not only seasonal decoration but can illuminate the wonderful use of our local art into a medium not usually seen on a 12th Century moated Castle! It has been fun to pull the idea together, and it totally makes the space look unique. Rothesay visitors and locals can enjoy the quirky subjects the projectors create, as well as give Bute's darker nights much more artistic life' said Jen.  'Bute has a thriving arts community and a rich built heritage, it felt obvious to put them together in some way. This is the first in hopefully many other collaborations in the future' said Jen. 


The BID Board also gave their thanks to the artists, Historic Scotland and Mount Stuart who took time to help in the project and worked through the process to get their works come fully to life.  The art installation will take place from October through November to create further attraction and brighten the town as the darker nights take over. 


The project has been kindly supported by Bute businesses: Fyne Futures Ltd., Hannay Fraser & Co., ReStyle, Bute Blacksmiths, Bute Produce, Fyne Homes and Bike Bute.

M8 Advert for Visit Bute
went LIVE!

Towering above the M8 motorway over Glasgow, the Rise+ Digital Billboard was hard to ignore. More importantly for Bute, it was impossible to miss the thousands of motorists who travel past it each day as Visit Bute launched its very first foray into billboard advertising in September 2023. ‘Go big or go home was the motto here’, said Alayne Byers the BID Assistant. The BID through Visit Bute secured 5 images of Bute that will was advertised over 2 weeks, with 1 board in every 4 being one of Visit Bute’s adverts. ‘75Media who built the Rise+ Tower own a 9m x 6m high resolution digital screen which looks spectacular. We focused on pictures that are wistful, autumnal and fun and show them just prior to the September weekend. Visit Bute needs to focus its efforts in gaining traction for the ‘shoulder months’, and hopefully get tourists coming to visit Bute in these quieter months as well’, added Alayne.


The Visit Bute website received this comment:

Hi - Just a wee note to say that your Bute advert on the lit up board on the M8 at Glasgow Airport is fabulous. I’ve asked around and loads of people have noticed it. Put me in the mood for a visit.

Kind Regards


BUTE BID awarded ABC grant
for toddlers playpark

The Bute Business Improvement District (BID) successfully secured £44,000 via Crown Estate Funding from Argyll and Bute Council earlier in the year. These monies have been allocated to an area known locally as Children’s Corner in Rothesay and will create a fun filled play area. After extensive consultation and advice from playpark experts, the BID Board has decided to tender the project in an effort to create a play space that is fully inclusive, ethical and inspires the little ones imaginations in the best possible way. 


The BID Board thanks the Argyll and Bute Council who gave this project full cross-party support. Thanks also to our local Bute Councillors who gave their approval for the fund spend.


Further details of how you can get involved in the parks design and get a feel for how the area will look and when the works will start are to be announced soon. Exciting times ahead for the Bute community and of course, our many island visitors!

BID Projects Ongoing


Working with Argyll & Bute Council and specific government allocated funds, the Bute BID had managed to create an alfresco seating area in Rothesay town centre and Guildford Square in 2020.  The Bute BID are delighted to announce that the appropriate council permissions and insurances are back in place for this to continue in 2023! The seating will be set out from 10am 'til 6pm, 7 days a week weather dependant!


What is the Argyll and the Isles Tourism Cooperative (AITC)?

The AITC is the strategic destination marketing and management organisation for the entire Argyll & Bute region on the West Coast of Scotland and is managed through their website, WILD ABOUT ARGYLL.

The Bute BID are now working in partnership with the AITC to market and showcase Bute to guests and visitors alike.  The reach of this organisation is both national and international as can be evidenced by AITC's website reach.

We have tasked the AITC to take on some of the roles that Visit Bute was doing for the island, including marketing Bute within their social media and linking Bute up to their main website.  Bute will get more coverage now it has this stronger voice and partnership with this national tourism organisation. 


For those who have ever been involved in community events understands the time, detail and manpower it takes to get even the smallest activity or event off the ground.  The Bute BID will always have a number of projects in the pipeline, however until the appropriate permissions, and insurances are firmly in place the events calendar for BID will be announced as and when we can legally announce it.

We recommend Levy Payers always check out Bute BID Facebook for updates and announcements. 


The Isle of Bute BID Board launched a small business grant scheme available to Bute BID Levy Payers. The scheme was to assist small businesses who would like to enhance primarily shop front or signage. The grant was to be a maximum of £750.  Application forms could be found under BID Info / Forms section of this website.


At the time, John Glen, Bute BID Chairman said ‘the funds have become available as a result of underspend within the operation of cost budget. This is due to staff joining later than anticipated, combined with the funds saved whilst awaiting to secure an office’. A number of shops benefited from the scheme in 2022-2023.


Many discussions in 2022 and 2023 took place between the BID Manager and Senior Officers from Argyll and Bute Council to ensure that the Rothesay Fountain was repaired and operational for the community and visitors to Bute to enjoy.  After extensive surveys, testing and some months beyond the expected deadline, Rothesay's iconic fountain was eventually switched on in the early summer months of 2023.

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The BID were pleased to announce that the street scene programme of cleaning the grot spots and painting of the street flower boxes commenced (May 23rd 2022). This programme has been a long time starting due to negotiations and processing the legal aspects of the work to be undertaken along with the Argyll and Bute Council. A licence agreement has now been entered into with the Council which clearly states the functions the BID will undertake and those which will remain the Council’s responsibility.

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