THIS is the inside of 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.”
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.
Grace Irvine, East Dunbartonshire Council’s head of assets and property services, said: “The council has recently received an updated condition survey report on the town hall and is currently considering the content. The main issues include extensive dry rot and general fabric deterioration throughout the building.
“We are not currently in a position to provide costs for the potential restoration of the hall but are aware that such a project would run into millions of pounds.”
She added: “The future of the hall is still to be decided and this will be influenced by a number of factors including findings from the condition survey report and feedback received via the Kirkintilloch Town Centre Masterplan consultation.”