Council officially opens new offices in old Dumbarton Burgh Hall

Church Street council HQ Official Opening

The staff and councillors line up for a photograph at the official opening of the new council offices in Church Street.

West Dunbartonshire Council has officially opened its new offices in the old Burgh Hall in Church Street, Dumbarton.

The old Dumbarton Academy site has been transformed into a modern  town centre base that features a retained William Leiper-designed, Grade A listed façade – the result of a conservation project supported by Historic Environment Scotland to ensure this important part of Dumbarton’s heritage was preserved.

Over 500 staff relocated to the state-of-the-art building at 16 Church Street in May improving access to services for residents and also bringing an economic benefit to businesses in the town.

Staff who helped deliver the project along with representatives from external contractors responsible for designing and building the new facility gathered along with community representatives in the building’s civic space as Council Leader Jonathan McColl and Deputy Leader Caroline McAllister unveiled a plaque to commemorate the opening.

Council Leader Jonathan McColl said: “Just a few years ago, the old Academy façade was nothing more than derelict shell, propped up by timber and steel supports. The project to sympathetically restore this building while also creating modern office space has not only played a part in protecting a piece of Dumbarton’s heritage, it has given a huge economic boost to the local area.

“Since May, when our staff moved in and we opened our doors to the community, the difference in the town centre has been clearly visible. With our Dumbarton office now much more accessible to the public, it’s a bustling hub of activity, and the benefits of this extra town centre footfall are being felt by our traders and businesses.”

Deputy Council Leader Caroline McAllister added: “This project has been a collaboration of so many people and I want to say a huge thank you to the community, all of our staff, elected members and our development and construction partners. This is one of a number of projects we are investing in which are enhancing services for our residents and improving communities. I believe the legacy of our investment in Church Street will bring significant benefits for many years to come.”

The Council has still to reveal the final cost of the building which was originally estimated at around £15 million. The new building will bring savings in the region of £400,000 per year compared to maintaining the current office estate.

The Council worked with Hub West Scotland on the new office, with Lendlease as the main contractor. Keppie Design as architects; Rybka were the service engineers; Curtins were the civil and structural engineers and CDM Doig & Smith were the quantity surveyors. The project has also benefited from the input of the Conservation Architect Andrew Wright OBE.

The way we were …

 How the old Burgh Hall, which housed the old Dumbarton Academy, Dunbartonshire Police headquarters and then education department offices before it was transformed and refurbished after a suggestion from a member of the public, Calum MacDonald, who campaigned for its restoration. 

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