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Published 05 October 2017

A project to preserve one of Dumbarton’s oldest buildings will be the subject of a special event in the town next week.

The A-listed façade of the old Dumbarton Academy is being restored as part of a £15.4million pound project to create new West Dunbartonshire Council offices in the town centre – set to open in March 2018.

The Conservation in Architecture event on Tuesday, October 10, will provide an insight into the complex works which have taken place on site to date, including the stone restoration and renovation of the imposing timber doors which will welcome visitors into the building.

Guests at the free event in the Concorde Centre will also hear details of the project to integrate the old and new elements of the building, including securing the modern rear of the facility to the historic stone frontage and developing custom roofing which was sympathetic to both designs.

The event will feature a presentation from Andrew Wright OBE ─ an Accredited Conservation Architect with the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS), and the Council’s project team will also be present.

Mr Wright’s presentation will include an introduction to the field of conservation and details on conservation of the old Academy building, including the work carried out in conjunction with Historic Environment Scotland.

The architectural expert will also discuss the building’s past and its exciting new future and will explain the challenges that had to be overcome in the project to retain the façade, built in 1865.

Councillor Iain McLaren, Convener of Infrastructure, Regeneration & Economic Development, said: “This event will be fascinating for anyone with an interest in local architecture, particularly the old Dumbarton Academy building and its beautiful William Leiper designed, Grade A listed façade.

“The works to retain that historic frontage and incorporate it into the new building have been complex and it will be interesting to hear how obstacles have been overcome so that this historically important building is retained as part of Dumbarton’s heritage.”

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 free event is being held at the Concord Centre, Dumbarton, from 2pm to 5pm, on Tuesday, 10 October. Everyone with an interest in architecture, history or the new office project is invited to attend.