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Published 11 June 2021

Ambitious plans to regenerate Dumbarton Town Centre including the redevelopment of Glencairn House and the Artizan Centre will form West Dunbartonshire’s Levelling Up Fund bid to the UK Government.

The Council can make one bid for funding for urban regeneration and cultural assets as part of the scheme,  which aims to address weaknesses in the economies of the UK’s towns and cities.

The West Dunbartonshire bid focuses on the regeneration of Dumbarton, encompassing interlinked projects.

These include the transformation of  B-Listed Glencairn House into a library, museum and community facility; the creation of a publicly accessible archive in the existing library building; the acquisition, part demolition and preparation for redevelopment of the Artizan Centre; and the completion of the Connecting Dumbarton project to enhance active travel connections between the Town Centre, waterfront path and Dumbarton Central train station.

The elements of the bid   were chosen as they meet all three of the Government’s priorities for local transportation and connectivity, town centre regeneration and cultural regeneration. In addition, preparation is  sufficiently advanced that progress can be made by the end of 2021/22, which is part of the eligibility criteria.

At a meeting of the Infrastructure, Regeneration and Economic Development Committee today (Wednesday), members agreed the  proposed bid for submission to the UK Government by the deadline of June 18.

Further consideration will also be given to projects that could be eligible for major transportation funding of up to £50M as part of the next round of funding, with a report on the options and recommended project presented in advance.

Councillor Iain McLaren, Convener of Infrastructure, Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “We are committed to improvements in our town centres, and the three focal points in our bid – the Artizan, Glencairn House and improving active travel routes – will each bring long-term enhancements to Dumbarton Town Centre for both our residents and our visitors.

“These are ambitious projects and I know a great deal of work has gone into identifying the most suitable works to benefit from this fund in an extremely tight timescale. I would like to thank every officer involved for using their knowledge and expertise to get us to this point.

“The Council has already invested into the transformation of Clydebank at Queens Quay, and if this Levelling Up bid is successful, it means significant investment will have taken place in West Dunbartonshire’s two biggest towns.”

Elected members were also presented with proposed bids for the Community Renewal Fund in the area.

West Dunbartonshire has been chosen as one of 100 lead authorities on the fund, meaning the Council has the responsibility for inviting, assessing, prioritising, and submitting bids to government of up to £3 million for each local authority area.

Following a strict assessment process, 14 projects with a total value of £2.68m have been chosen as part of West Dunbartonshire’s submission.

These include projects from the Street League, the Lennox Partnership, Alternatives, West College Scotland, the Vale of Leven Trust, Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce, and the Council’s Communities team.

Councillor Diane Docherty, Vice Convener of Infrastructure, Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “I am pleased to see such a varied combination of community organisations making up the bid for community renewal funding. These projects already  provide vital support to our residents, and if successful that offer will increase, meaning additional support to get people into employment, as well as investment in skills and in local business around West Dunbartonshire.”