DCSIMG

It’s hall looking good for ambitious project

Councillor Geekie with Gordon Carmichael and town hall campaigner Alistair Gilchrist at Kirkintilloch Town Hall.

Councillor Geekie with Gordon Carmichael and town hall campaigner Alistair Gilchrist at Kirkintilloch Town Hall.

The new year is off to a great start for ambitious plans to breathe new life into a landmark building in Kirkintilloch town centre.

East Dunbartonshire Council has committed an additional £250,000 to the Kirkintilloch Town Hall project and included it in its 10-year capital investment programme.

The ambitious project is now moving into the planning and development phase, following approval at a special meeting of the council last month.

This follows news that £1.57million of external funding has been secured to redevelop the dilapidated 107-year-old B-listed building into a centre for the arts, culture and community activity.

The revamp of the town hall will cost around £4.9million and includes a full refurbishment of the existing building and a new extension.

Council officers have been working over the last year and a half to secure match funding for the project from a range of external sources.

The overall amount the council spends on the town hall will depend on how much external funding can be sourced.

Kirkintilloch Town Hall - which has been derelict for nine years - has been identified as a priority in the Kirkintilloch Town Centre Masterplan.

Council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “The decision to make Kirkintilloch Town Hall a key element of the council’s 10-year capital investment programme is extremely good news.

“The council is fully committed to delivering a centre for arts, culture and community activity in the heart of Kirkintilloch.

“At this time of year we look to the past as well as the future, so it’s a perfect time to announce good news about one of Kirkintilloch’s most historic buildings.

“Including the town hall in the programme is a vital step and means officers can now begin the crucial planning and development phase.

“Officers within development and regeneration have been working incredibly hard to secure funding to bring this landmark building back into use. “We look forward to continuing our work in partnership to deliver this important project.”

Gordon Carmichael, chairman of the steering committee of Kirkintilloch and District Development Trust, also welcomed the news.

He said: “It’s excellent news. There is now a positive commitment to the project becoming a reality.

“It’s a great thing for the community. The town hall is a vital part of the economic regeneration of the area - giving Kirkintilloch town centre life beyond 5pm.

“Over the past decade many members of the community have devoted a great deal of time and effort to restoring the hall to its former glory days and this excellent news should be seen as recognition of their efforts, as well as council officers.”

Mr Carmichael also paid tribute to town hall campaigners such as Pam McGaughrin MBE and the late Geoff Allan MBE.

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