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What if, West Bay? 

Exploring the sustainable regeneration of West Bay in a time of climate crisis and community empowerment.

Railings at West Bay

A flourishing space

West Bay is a 1,000 metre stretch of Victorian promenade in the heart of Dunoon. It is a vital and valued community space with a rich cultural heritage and lively community of users, including local residences and hotels. West Bay sits at the intersection between the natural marine environment and the built environment of the town. 


This project will explore how a wide range of interested parties can support the development of a climate-resilient West Bay as part of a Local Place Plan.

Why is this important?

  • Coastal areas are more vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change.

  • West Bay is one of the local places most at risk of flooding as climate change progresses.

  • It is a valuable economic asset, drawing visitors to Dunoon to experience a traditional seaside holiday. 

  • West Bay’s flora and fauna is a natural resource that can increase the resilience of the beach.

  • How we protect and regenerate delicate marine environments to support flood risk management, while also making them positive places for people and biodiversity, is an important issue for our community to explore.

  • As a community, we need to reach a consensus on how to manage and develop West Bay in a sustainable way. 



We Are Building A Beach Hut

We Are Building A Beach Hut project documents the heritage of West Bay and the challenges of developing sustainable approaches to beach management and collaborative practice. 


A series of films, made with local people about West Bay, explore the heritage of beach huts, the impacts of climate change and the ways that people use the shore, including for swimming and watersports. There is also a blog that contains loads of information about the project.


Watch the We Are Building a Beach Hut films and read the blog here


Without Rain Bench 

Visit the Without Rain bench on West Bay, a creative installation to mark COP27 in Scotland, which is a place to enjoy the fresh air in company of sea birds. You’ll find the bench under the pavilion next to the playpark. 

Dunoon Forward app

The Dunoon Forward app gives you inspiration for enjoying walks, wheels and a kids eye-spy trail along the shore.

Download the app here>

Dunoon Bothy

Join a led walk along West Bay and enjoy our town’s natural asset.Dunoon Bothy on Facebook 


rainbow rain bench

Project partners

Tacit Tacit
POP shop

What if West Bay's story

As climate change progresses, places like West Bay face new challenges. The Bay sits within a conservation area and is identified by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) as being at risk from flooding. These challenges require people to come together to explore how West Bay can be made more resilient and more productive as a sustainable natural asset for the town and a place where people can continue to live and thrive. This means rethinking how West Bay is maintained and how the space can be regenerated to support better flood risk management while also supporting the health and wellbeing of the whole community.

With funding from CHARTs (Argyll’s culture, heritage and arts network) and in-kind support from the Dunoon CARS project, a variety of partners came together to develop We Are Building a Beach Hut project. The project gathered historical and environmental information to explore the implications and challenges of locating new structures on the beach.


Celebrating outcomes

  • Through traditional skills workshops led by local boat builder Ben Neville, local people built elements of a prototype beach hut for West Bay in 2021 and 22. 

  • Historial research using local sources and national archives plotted out how West Bay has evolved over time, giving us insights into the management of this space over a long time.

  • Community voices and research on how people omunity uses and values the beach and shore at West Bay were turned into videos and blog content.  

  • Videos, blog articles and workshops shared the findings from the research with local people. 

  • Greater community understanding of the complexities of multi-partner collaboration around place planning. 

  • A new exhibition is in production.


Post card of West Bay

West Bay, 1920s

Ariane Burgess and Tom Warren, West Bay

Green MSP Ariane Burgess and Chair of DCDT on West Bay with Sea level marker, 2020

Work with us

If you are interested in supporting the sustainable regeneration of West Bay do get in touch, contact our information and engagement coordinator, Hannah Clinch.

Cycle, walk or wheel your way around the town with the Dunoon Bothy project.

Ever thought about growing your own food here in Dunoon?

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