Old building to be transformed into library and museum in £8.5m revamp

A planning application is expected to be brought before West Dunbartonshire councillors in 2022.

Old building to be transformed into library and museum in £8.5m revamp LDRS
Plans: Around £8.5m will be spent revamping Glencairn House on Dumbarton's High Street.

Around £8.5m is to be spent transforming one of West Dunbartonshire’s oldest buildings into a state-of-the-art library and museum.

Funding to create additional floor space while building a large extension to the back of Glencairn House on Dumbarton’s High Street will be made available from the council’s regeneration and the UK Government’s levelling up fund.

The proposed project would see a venue that faced out onto the riverside as well as providing panoramic views of the River Leven, River Clyde and Dumbarton Rock.

It will continue the council’s strategy of investing in Dumbarton town centre.

A planning application is expected to be brought before councillors in 2022 which indicates work would be completed by March 2024.

A main adult and children’s lending library, computers, internet access, private meeting rooms, and unisex toilets including a changing places toilet will all be made available to members of the public.

Changing places toilets are designed to provide a better quality of life for people with disabilities by containing equipment such as hoists, curtains, adult-sized changing benches and space for carers.

The existing library at Strathleven Place will also be relocated to Glencairn House as part of a separate project.

An update was brought before councillors last Wednesday.

Cllr Iain McLaren, chairman, said: “I think making more use of the riverside and the High Street would absolutely be hugely beneficial to send a footfall into the town centre.

“It is great to see this come forward and progress.”

Members agreed this would help regenerate the area.

Labour councillor David McBride said: “This is a real boost to the High Street and it is good to see an appropriate use of Glencairn House which clearly is a very important building on Dumbarton High Street but has been somewhat neglected over the years.

“To see it being finalised for the future is great. I think a museum in Dumbarton High Street has been very much sought after by the local community for a long time.

“What is not to like – everything is very positive.”

By local democracy reporter Catherine Hunter