Published 28 October 2021
Ambitious plans to regenerate Dumbarton Town Centre including the redevelopment of Glencairn House and the Artizan Centre have been awarded Levelling Up Funding by the UK Government.
The Council was one of only eight successful bids in Scotland and was granted £19.9million as part of the scheme to address weaknesses in the economies of the UK’s towns and cities.
The funding will be used for the transformation of B-Listed Glencairn House into a state-of-the-art 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 successful bids were announced yesterday (27 October) by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of the wider budget for the UK Government.
In a letter confirming the award, Neil O’Brien MP, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, the Union and the Constitution said the Council’s application was strong and performed well against the assessment criteria.
The projects meet all three of the Government’s priorities for local transportation and connectivity, town centre regeneration and cultural regeneration.
As part of the eligibility criteria, progress must be made on the projects by the end of 2021/22.
Council Leader Councillor Jonathan McColl, said: “This is fantastic news for Dumbarton and West Dunbartonshire as a whole and we are delighted to have beaten off strong competition to receive this funding to invest in our area.
“I’d like to thank officers for their hard work in preparing these bids under difficult time pressures and successfully unlocking this investment.
"I have no doubt that our track record of investment by the Council, Scottish Government and other partners in major regeneration projects throughout West Dunbartonshire, played a big part in our successful bid. The panel will have had confidence that West Dunbartonshire have significant experience working collaboratively and spending public money wisely for the benefit of our communities.
“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 through Connecting Dumbarton – will bring long-term enhancements to our Town Centre for both residents and visitors.
“Each of these projects are ambitious, and I am very much looking forward to seeing them progress in the coming months and years."
Councillor Iain McLaren, Convener of Infrastructure, Regeneration and Economic Development, added: “This is huge win for West Dunbartonshire and the communities who will benefit from the town centre enhancements.
“The Council has already invested into the transformation of Clydebank at Queens Quay, and this funding means significant investment will have taken place in West Dunbartonshire’s two biggest towns.
“Our plans to transform Glencairn House - Dumbarton’s oldest building - into a new, purpose-built and modern library, along with the redevelopment of the Artizan Centre and Connecting Dumbarton proposals, will ensure that our town highlights our rich heritage, and is well connected and easily accessible to both residents and visitors alike.”
Further consideration will 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 to committee in advance.