PLANNING: West Dunbartonshire Council to buy Artizan Shopping Centre in Dumbarton

Artizan shopping centre off the High Street in Dumbarton.

By Lucy Ashton

West Dunbartonshire Council are negotiating terms with the sellers of the Artizan Shopping Centre in Dumbarton with a view to purchasing.

The centre, which sits in a prominent position in the town’s High Street, is a key element of the Council’s plans to regenerate and transform the area.

The plans for the Artizan form part of the Council’s Levelling Up Fund (LUF) application, with consideration being given to how the pedestrianised shopping precinct  can be enhanced to introduce a better link to the town centre, and encourage future investment on the High Street.

Following discussion at the Infrastructure, Regeneration and Economic Development  Committee, members agreed that officers could continue negotiations and conclude the transaction.

Officers will now begin looking at potential development opportunities for the centre.

Councillor Iain McLaren, Convener of the committee, said: “Regenerating Dumbarton Town Centre has always been a Council priority and due to changing shopping habits which have been exacerbated by the pandemic it is now more important than ever that we do all we can to help our high streets to thrive.

“The proposed purchase of the Artizan fits with our ambitions as set out in our Levelling Up Fund application, and our desire to make Dumbarton town centre a vibrant, attractive place which is easily accessible by walking, wheeling and cycling.”

Diane Docherty, Vice Convener, added: “In recent years we have completed a number of regeneration projects in and around the town centre including new housing, the waterfront path and new council offices.

“The proposed purchase of the Artizan Centre takes us a step closer to our proposed Levelling Up Fund project, and will allow us to consider how we can redevelop the site in order to boost footfall in the town centre and encourage future investment.

“We are committed to making these enhancements work for our residents and businesses and will work with them closely as this progresses.”

Other projects included in the Levelling Up Fund bid 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; and the completion of the Connecting Dumbarton project to enhance active travel connections between the Town Centre, waterfront path and Dumbarton Central train station.

Glencairn House, front and back view, in Dumbarton High Street and off the Quay.


  1. Guaranteed to be good money giving a very bad bang for the buck.

    Maybe the good councillors who are securing Westminster funding could tell us what the plans for the hideous Artizan centre are after the council have bought it.

    Demolish it, build something good, or put a new coat of paint on the monstrosity. And what will they be paying for it. The centre lies empty, decrepit, and most certainly is no jewel for the owners – a bleeding liability more like.

    And the long fabled Glencairn museum. A great idea but again an idea gone a tad off beam. Yes it had its roof upgraded a couple of years ago – but as one recalls this so called historic building had it roof done with Spanish slates. The council specified Scottish slate but allowed the contractor to use cheaper Spanish slate because they were in a hurry. Ahem ? – a bit like giving the fiancé a zircon instead of the diamond whilst paying for the diamond.

    And of the tenants in the houses what levelling up money for them. Enforcement notices for them, to repair and upgrade at their cost. Ahem, again.

    At least in Glasgow’s West End, like Byers Road, if a tenement needs upgrading Glasgow City Council pay a 50% grant. But West Dunbartonshire Council don’t have any money for repair grants. Ahem, ahem, ahem?

  2. And if anyone remembers the crumbling tenements in Glasgow back in the 70s and 8os they might remember how the Tory Government provided funding to allow the creation of action areas where Housing Association bought entire tenement blocks from owners and slum landlords and then totally refurbished them.

    That was the action needed to bring the houses back up to standard – and Partick in Glasgow was a fine example of that. The demolition of great swathes of tenements before that devastating places like Govan and parts of Maryhill to erect poor quality replacement housing, some of which has now been demolished, is salutary.

    Be really nice to get Dumbarton High Street back as an attractive focal point. The new council offices, albeit apparently built too small, is an example of an old building refurbished.

    We need more of this. As the clown Donald Trump would have said ‘ make Dumbarton Great again ‘

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