Future of town hall hanging in the balance

Kirkintilloch Town Hall 29.6.11 Picture by Jamie Forbes
Kirkintilloch Town Hall 29.6.11 Picture by Jamie Forbes

NEW life could be breathed into a landmark Kirkintilloch building, it is hoped.

Representatives from Kirkintilloch Town Hall Preservation Trust met with council planning chiefs last week to discuss the condition of the building, which is in a deteriorating state.

The trust has led a campaign to raise funds to regenerate the building and turn it into a community facility after it was closed in 2004.

The council will be coming forward with plans for the town centre in the next five weeks and will be consulting with residents.

Council leader Rhondda Geekie and Thomas Glen, head of the council’s development and enterprise services, met with town hall trust representatives last week.

Councillor Geekie said: “A survey carried out on the town hall is not good.

“Unless the trust is awarded substantial funding for the building it would not be fair on anyone to give them ownership.

“We are working up a plan for the town centre and will be looking to see if we can attract any developers to the area. We want to include the town hall in that.

“We want to ask people what they would like to see in the town centre.”

Kirkintilloch Town Hall Preservation Trust was unsuccessful in a bid for a £1million grant from the Big Lottery Fund last year.

One of the reasons for the funding being turned down was because it was felt the trust and council were at cross purposes with each other.

Pam McGaughrin, vice-chairperson of the Trust, said: “The condition of the hall is diabolical.

“Under the stage is like a swimming pool, there’s dampness inside and loaded gutters are causing havoc with the brick work.

“It’s been neglected. We would like to buy the building from the council, then address the condition and apply for funding.

“The next step we would like to take is to give a presentation to councillors about what we want to do with the hall.”