CALLS have been made to save the St Peter’s Seminary site in Cardross after the company leading its renovation project announced it will close.

Plans to rescue the internationally-famous ruin have been thrown into major doubt after arts organisation NVA said it will cease operations in September.

This includes abandoning the initiative to restore the seminary, with a statement claiming that the organisation had “no choice” but to close the project.

And Argyll and Bute councillor Ellen Morton, whose ward includes the village, is seeking an “acceptable future” for the site.

She told the Advertiser: “I knew there had been issues around the proposal so I am not totally surprised, but there are now major questions around the project.

“What has happened does leave a big question mark over not just the project, but the whole site, because we have had difficulty with it for some time.

“The project would really have been wonderful if it had worked, with international recognition. But what is more concerning to me is how we secure an acceptable future.

“We had a plan that was acceptable to everybody, the plans were exciting, and this is not the first set of plans that has collapsed.

“The site is very important to Cardross and it is important that something acceptable is done with it.”

The NVA statement, issued on Tuesday, said that its trustees had decided to withdraw funding from St Peter’s in September due to “increasing risks, both financial and physical”.

It added: “NVA’s original plan for St Peter’s was universally acknowledged as bold, with creative ambition at its heart.

“It was also recognised as a high risk venture for a small independent arts organisation.

“Despite our best efforts we were unable to guarantee the viable future for the St Peter’s Seminary that we had imagined and hoped for.

“In the end, we had no choice but to bring the capital project to an end.”

MSP Jackie Baillie and MP Brendan O’Hara also expressed a willingness to work to save the old seminary site.

Ms Baillie said: “It is very sad to hear that NVA is set to close. Their plans for St Peter’s Seminary were bold and exciting and their closure will leave questions about the future of the site.

“It is disappointing that an organisation which has been involved in iconic works across Scotland for more than two decades has not received the support from Creative Scotland that they deserve, putting them in a position where they have had to announce their closure.

“I have written to the Scottish Government to find out what help and support they may be able to make available to NVA.”

And Mr O’Hara added: “I am extremely disappointed to hear that NVA have had to abandon their plans to rescue St. Peter’s seminary in Cardross.

“I visited the site on a number of occasions to meet Angus Farquhar and his team and I was hugely impressed by the scale of their ambition and the vision they had to turn the ruins of St Peter’s into a permanent arts venue.

“I sincerely hope that they can fulfil their wish to develop an alternative proposal for both the building and the surrounding area and they can be assured that I will help in any way I can.

“I’d like to thank Angus and his team for all they’ve done to transform this modernist masterpiece into a venue for the arts and thereby enrich the lives of so many people in this area.

“Their efforts are hugely appreciated and they will long be remembered.”