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Published 10 July 2017

Progress on West Dunbartonshire Council’s new Dumbarton town centre office has reached a major milestone with structural work on the £15.4million facility now completed.

Elected Councillors and Council officials gathered at the Church Street site for a topping out ceremony to mark the move to the next stage in the transformation of the former Dumbarton Academy site into a modern and efficient town centre base. Conservation works to the William Leiper-designed, Grade A listed façade are well underway with support from a Historic Environment Scotland grant, ensuring this important façade is retained as part of Dumbarton’s Heritage.

The project is on schedule to be completed later this year, with staff moving in to the offices in early 2018. The Council plans to relocate 500 staff currently based at Garshake to the offices in a move that will also provide a catalyst for the regeneration of the town centre. It will also generate annual savings over the lifetime of the building compared to maintaining the current Garshake offices. The new facility will include a public Service Desk area with a multi-use civic space, training and meeting rooms to the front, with a new office building to the rear.

Councillor Iain McLaren, Convener of Infrastructure, Regeneration & Economic Development, said: “I am delighted to be able to officially mark the topping out of the new Dumbarton offices and it’s great to see how far work has come at the site. It’s clear that the Garshake building is no longer fit for purpose as a modern working environment and the new facility will greatly improve conditions for staff and members of the public who visit to use the services. And as well as that, moving 500 Council staff to the town centre will certainly give the area a much-needed and welcome financial boost.”

Councillor Diane Docherty, Vice Convener of Infrastructure, Regeneration & Economic Development, added: “With our new building at Aurora House in Clydebank proving such a success, we are pleased that we will be able to offer similarly modern facilities for staff and the public in the heart of Dumbarton town centre. I look forward to seeing the positive impact having 500 Council staff in the town centre will have on local businesses and I’m sure residents will also be impressed with the building.”

A 195 space car park will be developed at the rear of the building, including 10 accessible car parking spaces and 10 spaces for electric vehicles. In addition to this, storage for 80 bikes will be provided and the Council has been developing a Green Travel Plan to promote healthier and cost effective ways of commuting.

The new building will bring savings in the region of £400,000 per year compared to maintaining the current office estate.

Earlier this year, nearly 300 Council staff moved from Garshake to the refurbished Bridge Street offices in Dumbarton. In addition to that, the renovated Municipal Buildings in Station Road are set to accommodate the Elected Members from Garshake, with the move planned for November 2017.

The Council is working with Hub West Scotland on the new Dumbarton office, with Lendlease as the main contractor. Keppie Design are the architects; Rybka are the service engineers on the project; Curtins are the civil and structural engineers and CDM Doig & Smith are the quantity surveyors.