Historic building to be bulldozed to make way for community hub

The former Co-op building
The former Co-op building

Historians have slammed a decision to raze a landmark building to make way for a community hub.

East Dunbartonshire Council are set to build the Lennoxtown Hub in the village’s main street, on a site that currently contains the building that used to house the Lennoxtown Friendly Victualling Society (LFVS) co-operative.

The society was set up in 1812, predating the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers - often credited as being the oldest co-operative in the world - by more than 30 years.

The under-threat building, known to date back to at least 1840, housed the society from around 1888.

Local historian Don Martin believes that there is a case to retain the building, arguing that it is “one of the last surviving examples of the original Lennoxtown ‘new town’ build; probably the best example”.

He added: “Although not an original LFVS building it functioned as its central premises for many years. As one of the oldest co-operative societies in the world, the LFVS is an organisation of considerable historic importance.

“The traditions of the LFVS are acknowledged and fondly cherished by many people in Lennoxtown.”

Thomas Glen, the council’s director of development and regeneration, said: “The council recognises the importance of reflecting the history of the building to the local community and wider co-operative movement.

“The existing building has been lying unused for some considerable time and as it stands it would be unable to be redeveloped to accommodate the scale of the proposed Community Hub.

“However, we have been working with colleagues in the Leisure and Culture Trust and have consulted with representatives from the local history group to ensure that the new HUB reflects the history of the area.

“The architects have identified objects that will be retained from the building fabric and we have met with the group to discuss the design of the building.”

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