• STV
  • MySTV

Film star backs £3m bid to save Millport town hall

Plan to transform holiday destination's historic town hall into heritage centre and flats.

A campaign has been launched to raise millions of pounds to save a historic town hall in the holiday destination of Millport.

The building dates back to 1878 but has lain empty for years and fallen into a state of disrepair.

Plans have been drawn up to transform it into a community hall, heritage centre and holiday apartments for visitors who flock to the town on the Isle of Cumbrae, off the west coast.

However, £3m is needed to make the proposals a reality and so far just £250,000 has been raised.

The campaign has now received the backing of leading Scots actor Bill Paterson, who regularly enjoyed holidays in Millport.

The Local Hero actor said: "I think Millport like all places needs a really flexible centre where people can come and do all sorts of things whether local or visiting.

"So it would be a wonderful thing to get it going and I think we've got to fight to do that."

Bill Paterson has fond memories of Millport.
Bill Paterson has fond memories of Millport. Getty/Google 2019

John McNeilly and Angie McCallum set up Friends of Millport Town Hall to raise the millions needed.

They believe a functioning community hub will give the island's economy a huge shot in the arm.

Ms McCallum said: "We've got a really fragile economy and if we can get more tourists then we get more pounds spent on the island.

"So the heritage centre was great and we'll have a community centre which we don't have at the moment."

Revitalising the town hall would also provide a boost and new facilities groups and activities operating in Millport.

Rhona Gourley, the leader of the 70-strong Sonora Community Choir, currently has to rehearse and stage shows in the local church.

She said: "To my mind a town hall is very much the essence of the centrality of actually living in a small town.

"For our spring concert which we'd normally expect to do one show, we have to do two shows - because we don't have somewhere that's big enough to take the numbers who support us.

"So for us it would be a big thing."

Millport's economy relies on being a popular holiday destination.
Millport's economy relies on being a popular holiday destination. Christine McIntosh

It's hoped the presence of Paterson - a veteran of films and TV shows from The Witches to Outlander and Fleabag - will provide a huge boost to the fundraising.

The 74-year-old has fond memories of his holidays in Millport and hopes that will inspire others who spent time there to dig deep for the campaign.

"In those days the island had about three cars in the beginning and so it was total freedom, it was called a children's paradise," he recalled.

"I don't think my mother ever saw me except at tea time when I was forced to go back home to get something to eat.

"They'd never see me from one month to the next. So it was a pretty free and easy life down here in those days and yes, I loved it."

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.