Revised plans for new hub

The proposed site of the new community hub.
The proposed site of the new community hub.

Plans for a new community hub in Lennoxtown have been scaled down and re-drawn after the cost of the building soared by £1million.

It was revealed at the end of last year that councillors were told the hub, which was originally budgeted to cost £5million, would cost £6million.

A council report concluded that there was a “major financial question mark over the project”.

Reasons for the sharp increase were said to include additional “mechanical and electrical costs”, as well as “increased space requirements to accommodate services”.

However, the Herald has been told that the plans - presented in private at a recent full council meeting - have been re-drawn and a floor of the building has been taken out with more of the ground floor space being used.

The hub will no longer include the relocated Post Office or have a cafe.

And some of the sizes of rooms for the health service have been revised.

The change has been welcomed by Campsie and Kirkintilloch North councillor David Ritchie.

He said: “I’m pleased this was brought back to the council.

“The original plan was way too big. The new revised plan is more in keeping with what the village needs.

“It’s a welcome investment in Lennoxtown.”

Readers gave their views on the Herald’s Facebook page.

Robert Neilson said: “Still way too much for this council to waste. Who supervises these projects?”

John Weatherston said: “So much for being a cash-strapped council, then they go and spend ridiculous amounts of money saving a crumbling town hall in Kirky!”

John Barclay said: “EDC plus construction estimates equals total mess, costing way more, giving less than planned and half baked excuses.”

The hub has already proved controversial after the council agreed to stump up around £100,000 to move bookies Betfred, who currently operate on the site, to new premises - including providing them with free rent for five years at a cost of around £50,000.

Thomas Glen, East Dunbartonshire Council’s director of development and regeneration, said: “Following discussion on aspects of the delivery of the Lennoxtown Hub at council in March, we are preparing further details relating to progressing to the next stage of this development.

“This will be communicated once the full details and implications have been considered.”