TOWN CENTRE: Council agrees sale of Dumbarton’s Artizan Centre

By Lucy Ashton

West Dunbartonshire Council will buy the Artizan Shopping Centre for £1.7million to progress plans to regenerate and transform Dumbarton town centre.
Plans for the pedestrianised shopping precinct formed a key part of the Council’s Levelling Up funding bid, which was granted last month.
Officers have been in discussion with the current owners of the centre, which sits in a prominent position in the town’s High Street, and have now negotiated the sale.
At a meeting of the Infrastructure, Regeneration and Economic Development committee this week, members approved the temporary use of Council capital budgets to finance the purchase until Levelling Up Funding is received.
It means plans for the future of the Artizan Centre can progress, and officers will begin looking at potential development opportunities for the centre, which has attracted a £22 grant from from Boris Johnston’s UK government.

A council spokesperson said consideration will be given to how the site can be enhanced to introduce a better link to the town centre and encourage future investment on the High Street.
Officers will also begin engagement with existing tenants, as well as providing them with regular updates.
Councillor Iain McLaren, pictured right, Convener of Infrastructure, Regeneration and Economic Development Committee, said: “Regenerating Dumbarton Town Centre has always been a Council priority and we are doing all we can to help our high streets to thrive.
“The purchase of the Artizan fits with our ambitions 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 of Infrastructure, Regeneration and Economic Development, added: “I am delighted that the Council was awarded additional funding for this project, and completing the purchase of the Artizan 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.”

The Artizan Centre in Dumbarton Town Centre, built back in the 1960s.

Meanwhile, councillors have agreed to request additional budget of £100,000 to enhance the provision of Changing Place Toilets in West Dunbartonshire.
CPT facilities provide larger, accessible toilets, to address the needs of people who have profound and multiple physical disabilities and learning difficulties.
As well as providing additional space, they contain equipment including hoists, curtains, adultsized changing benches and enough room for carers to assist.
While a number of CPTs are available in learning environments across West Dunbartonshire, the additional funding will be used to introduce publicly available facilities.
The proposed locations for the toilets are at Balloch Bus Stance toilets; the Concord Community Centre; Dalmuir Community Centre; and Clydebank East Community Centre.
A further period of survey will be undertaken at these sites, with building warrant applications required for the locations.
It is proposed that the projects would be completed in financial year 2022/23.
Councillor Iain McLaren, Convener of Infrastructure, Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “For many people who have physical challenges and disabilities, standard toilet accommodation is totally inadequate or impractical to use.

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