Thrilling plans for cinema in Kirkintilloch?

Cllr Charles Kennedy outside Kirkintilloch Town Hall.  26.10.11 Picture by Jamie Forbes
Cllr Charles Kennedy outside Kirkintilloch Town Hall. 26.10.11 Picture by Jamie Forbes

A MULTIPLEX cinema could be part of a radical shake-up in Kirkintilloch town centre.

East Dunbartonshire Council is currently working on a masterplan for the town centre and is appealing for people to have their say.

Now Campsie and Kirkintilloch North councillor Charles Kennedy has put forward a blockbuster idea to entice a cinema chain to Cowgate.

He said: “This would attract people from all over the area, not just Kirkintilloch, and would be a massive catalyst for bringing business to the town.

“I have no doubt whatsoever that – if the economic situation is right, and if we as a council present the case properly – then a number of the bigger cinema outlets would certainly be interested.”

He has written to the council’s development and enterprise chief Thomas Glen on the issue, telling him: “There can be no doubt that a cinema, providing good quality films, would have a tremendous impact on the economic viability of central

Kirkintilloch and would be a huge pull for people coming into the town from surrounding areas and beyond.”

Councillor Kennedy suggested that a cinema could either use a revamped existing building – such as Lairdsland Primary – or a site freed up by other businesses moving elsewhere and buildings being demolished.

Councillor Kennedy said local shops and workers have been expressing concerns over the future of Tesco at the Regent Centre if a new Tesco superstore opens at Woodilee.

He insisted: “Now is the time for us to look at the possibility of what Cowgate could be within five or 10 years time.”

Another suggestion is that Kirkintilloch Town Hall be demolished, with William Patrick Library revamped to include a community space.

Council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “These ideas are exactly what we are looking for as part of the masterplan consultation.

“I think this area would definitely benefit from a cinema. We did try to get some interest in the past, but there are a lot more people now because of all the house building, so that should certainly be included.

“Any ideas which have a lot of public support can be used to show companies the residents of Kirkintilloch and surrounding villages would support them.”