Future and past will come together within one of East Dunbartonshire’s most iconic buildings thanks to a Lottery funding boost.
As previously reported, the project to breathe new life into Kirkintilloch Town Hall has been awarded £666,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
That secures the final piece of the funding package to transform the town hall into a centre for heritage, arts, culture and community use.
The facility will be functional, flexible and fit for the 21st century, but it will also celebrate the past.
As well as a ground-floor event space, there will be a heritage discovery centre, reflecting Kirkintilloch’s rich history - in association with East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture (EDLC) Trust.
That will include an exhibition space exploring the area’s industrial heritage and a community workshop area for activities and events to improve understanding and awareness.
The aim is that it complements the existing displays at the Auld Kirk Museum and help boost the town’s wider heritage offer - catering for local residents and visitors.
The facility will interpret and display objects sourced from the existing museum collection and local archives, many of which are currently in storage.
Consultation included an online questionnaire and a series of workshops.
There will be further opportunities for the community to help inform how this space looks and works in the coming months.
Councillor Rhondda Geekie, Leader of the Council, said: “We are delighted to receive confirmation of support from the Heritage Lottery Fund - it is very much appreciated.
“Restoring this significant B-listed building as a multi-functional venuefor heritage and the arts will be a huge boost for East Dunbartonshire - attracting people and additional expenditure to the area.
“The completed town hall will form part of a wider Heritage Quarter in Kirkintilloch which also includes Peel Park, the Auld Kirk Museum/Barony Chambers, and William Patrick Library and Archives.
“It is important that while the new building looks to the future that it also celebrates the past - creating a greater understanding and appreciation for local heritage.
“Kirkintilloch has a rich and varied industrial past. From coaches and boats, to telephone kiosks and soap, the town has consistently reinvented itself to take advantage of new developments in industry and trade.”
A planning application for the overall project was approved last month.
There will be a range of works undertaken at the site over 2016, with expected completion in 2017.
Lucy Casot, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, the Heritage Lottery Fund has provided the final piece in the funding jigsaw to secure a positive future for the town hall.
“Following its restoration, it will once again take its place as a vibrant and thriving multi-purpose community hub in the very heart of Kirkintilloch.
“This historic building will soon offer a new events space for the local community, as well as housing a new heritage discovery centre to tell fascinating stories of the industrial past of this important East Dunbartonshire town.”
The Council has been working with development partner hub West Scotland, contractors and EDLC to develop the design since the start of 2015.
The aim is that the new facility is flexible enough to cater for a range of uses - such as performances, events, weddings, heritage displays, receptions and meetings - to ensure it is sustainable, while ensuring high-quality functionality.
The restored building will have a potential seating capacity up to 300.
The overall project will cost approximately £5.5m. As well as significant external funding, support has also been secured from the Council’s capital programme - which is funded differently and completely separate from the revenue budget, which pays for day-to-day services and is experiencing huge pressures.