Can run-down Kirkintilloch Town Hall really be saved?

Kirkintilloch Town Hall. 14.12.11 Picture by Jamie Forbes
Kirkintilloch Town Hall. 14.12.11 Picture by Jamie Forbes

THE Herald has gained exclusive access to a crumbling town hall.

The future is looking bleak for Kirkintilloch’s derelict town hall building.

According to a recent survey, the town centre building is suffering from extensive dry rot and general fabric deterioration throughout.

Last month Campsie and Kirkintilloch North councillor Charles Kennedy said it was time for East Dunbartonshire Council to ‘bite the bullet’ and demolish the building.

An initial request by the Herald to see inside the town hall was turned down for health and safety reason.

However, earlier this month the council had second thoughts and granted us permission to gain limited access to the building.

Herald reporter Caren McPate and photographer Jamie Forbes were allowed in - but only as far as the foyer.

Caren takes up the story: “We were told that we could not go in further than the foyer, but we could still see into the main hall, where audiences used to gather in the once popular facility. There were still two pianos on the stage.

“The building was cold and dark. Parts of the ceiling on one side of the hall had fallen onto the floor and there was debris lying all around. Safety fencing was positioned around the sides.

“A puddle of water had gathered inside the front door and there was lots of dampness and crumbling paintwork.

“It’s hard to imagine that this once proud building was the venue for so many memorable events and gatherings.

“The council said the extensive dry rot and general fabric deterioration are the main problems with the building. Looking around it was sad to see just how deteriorated it has become.”

Kirkintilloch Town Hall was closed by East Dunbartonshire Council in 2004.

The community-led Kirkintilloch Town Hall Preservation Trust has worked tirelessly over the years trying to raise funds to save the building and turn it into a major community hub once more.

However, seven years after it was closed, the doors to the building remain shut.

* What’s your view? E-mail kirkyherald@jnscotland.co.uk