Time for a change in Kirkintilloch, say overwhelming majority

Cowgate Kirkintilloch 1977
Cowgate Kirkintilloch 1977

A LONG-awaited masterplan to transform Kirkintilloch town centre can’t come soon enough.

That was the message from residents who completed an on-line survey carried out by East Dunbartonshire MP Jo Swinson.

It revealed there is an appetite for change, with three out of four respondents claiming the town centre is either ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’, with a lack of decent shops and entertainment facilities.

Concerns were also raised about too many boarded-up shop fronts.

However, people who responded to the survey were generally positive about plans to turn the current Lairdsland Primary School site into housing, and they overwhelmingly supported plans to restore the town hall and turn it into an arts venue.

But concerns were raised about changes to William Patrick Library to accommodate a new community hub. Around 100 people took part in the survey.

A third of people who took part in the survey had been to the new community hub and the majority think it was an unsuccessful change that has led to a reduction of library facilities. One of the most frequent comments was that the new requirement to walk through the café to get to the library was inconvenient.

Ms Swinson said: “There are certainly lots of interesting ideas for the future of Kirkintilloch.

“It seems that there is a huge appetite for change in the area. I hope the council’s masterplan will address this.

“It’s vital that residents have as much influence as possible on any plans to change the town – or the opportunity could be lost.

“I will certainly be passing on the results of my survey to the council to consider.”

Councillors were given an update on the Kirkintilloch Community Hub at a recent policy and resources committee meeting.

East Dunbartonshire Council leader Rhondda Geekie told the Herald: “We received some very positive feedback about the new facility.

“People are often adverse to change and we did anticipate there would be a period of adjustment, but many of our customers are extremely pleased with the refurbishment.”

The council is currently carrying out a six month review, in association with the East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture Trust, which will focus on William Patrick Library.

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