Victorian Pavilion plans to go on show
Public consultation on canopy for Ancaster Square
Ambitious plans to build a £650,000 Victorian pavilion in Callander town centre are to be made public.
The scheme has been developed by Callander man Tom Jones, with the aim of providing a central covered area in the town centre.
The plan is estimated at between £600,000 and £650,000 and Mr Jones says he has already managed to source around half of the amount needed to get the project off the ground.
He hopes it will protect events from the elements that up until now have been washed out by the unpredictable Scottish weather.
Mr Jones will unveil his plan at an open day to be held on October 1 from noon until 4pm in Ancaster Square.
He envisages a pavilion with a glass roof, supported by iron pillars, featuring a built–in audio system, power points, WiFi, lighting, LED floodlights, drainage, seating, litter bins and a dance floor.
Materials for the construction would be supplied by a company based in Wigan.
If this proposal becomes a reality the steps to St Kessog’s would have to be restored to the design of their original and edged with new railings to match the pavilion while surface drainage measures would be required.
Ancaster Square would also have to be levelled and resurfaced and its hoped that the pavilion will be built in such as way that it will blend in with the surrounding buildings and the former St Kessog’s Church.
Clanranald Trust, who owns St Kessog’s, have signalled their intention to support the proposal.
Mr Jones, who is chairman of Callander Pipe Band and the town’s British Legion branch and runs the Highland Guest House in Callander, said: “I first thought about a cover for Ancaster Square when I moved to Callander seven years ago.
“I play in Callander Brass and our concerts are often interrupted or cancelled because of the weather. The same is true for performances by Callander Pipe Band.
“We at the British Legion, in common with many community groups and organisations, regularly hold tombola stalls and fundraising activities in the square.
“It’s also the location for Callander’s annual Summerfest, jazz festival, and Winterfest.
“All of these events are also frequently adversely affected by the weather.
“The list of possible uses for the proposed pavilion are numerous, as are the benefits to many organisations and individuals within the community, and to day visitors and tourists alike.
“About four years ago, I was aware that there were a couple of other ideas for providing cover for Ancaster Square under discussion, so I thought it best to leave my vision for a pavilion aside, until the other concepts had run their course. “
And he added: “I have no hidden agenda – simply a desire to give Callander a vibrant hub in the centre of our town, for community activities.”
The plan was laid before Callander Community Council at its monthly meeting last week.
Callander Community Council chairman Richard Johnson said: “Callander Community Council has been looking into options for a cover over North Ancaster Square so we welcome the new ideas being proposed by Tom. The square is an important part of our community and the surrounding buildings, including St Kessog’s are important to be retained for their historical value.
“But we must also consider the people who live in the square.
“As a facility for Callander a cover would benefit the outdoor events which take place in all weathers through the year and it would be part of our larger plan to ‘weatherproof ’ Callander.
“We need to get the right design for such a structure with a robust plan for the long term ownership and maintenance.
“Other designs have been looked at and we hope to organise a full consultation with the community when we have more details of Tom’s design.”
Trossachs and Teith councillor, Martin Earl added: “Mr Jones has put in a huge amount of work into this proposal and that should be acknowledged. This is a really interesting proposal, one that could transform the centre of Callander and make the square an all-weather space. I look forward to hearing people’s views and seeing the detailed designs.”
The community council previously submitted their own application to erect a canopy in the square.
The proposal for the pavilion has yet to be submitted to planners at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park but will be placed on hold until after the open day and community consultation.
Feedback on the proposal and responses can be sent to Mr Jones, 8 South Church Street, Callander, FK17 8BN; or email dennisjones@ thehighlandguesthouse.co.uk.
Weather misery Tom Jones
Blueprint Proposals for Victorian-style glass pavilion in Ancaster Square to be unveiled