New shops, housing, parking and a rejuvenated town hall – have your say on Kirky’s future...

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THE first phase of multi-million pound plans to change the face of Kirkintilloch forever have been unveiled.

Councillors have agreed in principle to a number of projects as part of a masterplan for the area.

A £1.55million investment will go towards improving access and parking, and £4.75million will be sought to restore the dilapidated Kirkintilloch Town Hall.

The plans also include using the current Lairdsland Primary School site for new housing when the school is relocated next to Southbank Marina.

In addition, the council will be in talks with partners about long-term retail and housing investment in the town centre.

A report to councillors said that recent studies have shown Kirkintilloch to be the district’s “poorest performing retail centre and in need of regeneration intervention”.

Months of consultation with residents, businesses and other stakeholders has been carried out.

Council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “More than 350 people took part in focus groups and 2,000 questionnaires were completed by residents and business people.

“What struck me is that there was a definite thread running through the comments we received that people love their town, recognise that it has a lot to offer, but also see that we could and should be capitalising more on our heritage assets, and making improvements to attract businesses and develop the evening economy.”

The parking improvements will create 40 new spaces. Proposals also include improved pedestrian access in East High Street and junction improvements at William Patrick Library.

There will be a new public space at Barleybank and a walkways and signage strategy.

The improvements are aimed at making it easier for pedestrians, cyclists, public transport users and motorists to access the town centre.

Next month locals will have the chance to comment and give feedback on the plans before they are taken forward further.

Councillor Geekie added: “There is a view that we need to try to bring the town centre to life at night and that we need to make more of our cultural and visitor attractions, like the canal and the Antonine Wall.”

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