Strathpeffer Pavilion Association
The historic Strathpeffer Pavilion is now being restored and Strathpeffer Pavilion Association (SPA) needs to raise £250,000 to furnish and equip it when it is handed over to the community next summer.
Now owned by the Scottish Historic Buildings Trust (SHBT), the historic Strathpeffer Pavilion in Ross-shire in the Scottish Highlands has been in process of restoration since June 2003. When rebuilding is complete in early summer, the Pavilion will be leased to Strathpeffer Pavilion Association (SPA), who will then be responsible for furnishing, equipping and maintaining the building and will manage it on behalf of Strathpeffer and the wider Highland community.
It is expected once again to become a vibrant arts, social and entertainment centre for the North of Scotland. In due course, the Pavilion will house an excellent restaurant, exhibitions and a retail element. In keeping with Strathpeffer's Victorian spa tradition and the famous spa waters, it will also offer spa-related products and services such as complementary therapies.
There will be thus be four core activities:
As well as attracting visiting performers, the Pavilion will act as a showcase for local talent in the visual and performing arts. It will also be available for hire for functions and conferences.
Strathpeffer is a village in Ross-shire, in the heart of the Scottish Highlands 17 miles north-west of Inverness. It became established as a spa early in the 19th century – the most northerly spa in Europe. The first Pump Room was built in 1819 with a hospital and hotel following soon after. However it was with the arrival of the railway in nearby Dingwall in 1862 that the spa became accessible to a wider audience. As the popularity of the spa increased so did the need for entertainment for its visitors. The season ran from May to October and a typical course of treatment involved taking the waters, bathing, diet and exercise.
During the First World War, the Pavilion was used as an American Naval Hospital. In the 50s, 60s and 70s the Pavilion housed an excellent Highland Cabaret from Mondays to Thursdays, admission 3/-, and dances on Fridays and Saturdays cost 7/6 and 5/-. It was still in occasional use in the '80s, when Evelyn Glennie played here with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Many local people met their partners here while dancing to the music of rising stars like Gerry Rafferty and Billy Connolly, Freddie and the Dreamers, Lulu, the Fortunes, the Nashville Teens or the Majestics.
The Pavilion stopped being used on a regular basis in 1977 and has lain largely unused for over 25 years. The Highland Council, The Highland Building Preservation Trust and the Scottish Historic Buildings Trust have all contributed to the restoration of the Pavilion complex, including the Upper Pump Room and gardens. The project is now culminating in the restoration of the Pavilion, which will be managed by the community-based Strathpeffer Pavilion Association (SPA). The building will provide an artistic, cultural and social venue for the benefit and entertainment of residents and visitors throughout the year.
For further information, contact:
Robert Carr / Margaret Macdonald
Strathpeffer Pavilion Association
Park House Studio, The Square
Telephone: 01997 420124
Fax: 01997 421008
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