Brookwood could be used as ‘multifunctional space’

Duncan Cumming would like to see Brookwood Library and Villa being used as a multifunctional space by a variety of community groups.
Duncan Cumming would like to see Brookwood Library and Villa being used as a multifunctional space by a variety of community groups.

Bearsden Councillor Duncan Cumming, who has campaigned from the start to save Brookwood Library and Villa from being sold off by the council, would like to see the buildings being used as a multifunctional space by a variety of community groups.

The Independent Councillor for Bearsden North put forward a motion to the council last year for the setting up of a community group to examine possible ideas for the future use of Brookwood Library, Villa and car park.

The group, which includes local community councils, residents associations, parent councils, local traders and businesses, has now suggested partial use of the buildings for early years/nursery provision.

Duncan said: “In my opinion, it is essential that the Brookwood buildings are retained within the council’s ownership for the continuing benefit of the community.

“I am absolutely thrilled at the enthusiasm, dedication and commitment of the community group who have already put forward very useful and interesting ideas and suggestions.

“East Dunbartonshire Council needs to provide additional nursery provision by 2020.

“There is clearly a demand for nursery provision in the area and there is a lack of suitable buildings.

“The suggestion for a nursery is the frontrunner just now and while I support this idea it’s a big building and there’s room for other types of uses.

“I continue to believe that these buildings should be used as a multifunctional space for a wide variety of community groups and their specific needs.

“These iconic and much loved buildings absolutely must not be allowed to fall into a state of disrepair.”

East Dunbartonshire Council had previously planned to sell off the buildings after the library moved to the new Bearsden Hub.

But a successful campaign by local people saw the original decision, made in 2014, overturned two years later.

Afer a petition signed by hundreds of residents was delivered to council headquarters, councillors chose to delay any final decision until after this year’s council elections.

A number of options were suggested during the group’s meetings, including use as an arts and music centre, a health centre, affordable housing, homeless accommodation, an educational facility, a business centre, or a drama facility.

But councillors heard at a recent meeting that “over the course of the three meetings and discussions, there was a consistent and emerging view that the use of all or part of the asset to support early years services would provide a valuable resource and services for the local community”.

Councillors have instructed council officers to untertake a ‘feasibility study’ into delivering this option.

It will be presented to the council after the summer recess, before a final decision is taken.

In the meantime the Brookwood Future Group will continue to consider possible alternatives for the buildings.