It’s going to be a very happy new year for an iconic town landmark after a double dose of good news secured its future.
Kirkintilloch Town Hall, which opened in 1906, has been left to crumble since East Dunbartonshire Council closed it down in 2004.
But now the same council is spearheading plans to reopen the hall as a centre for heritage, arts, culture and community use, with a recently obtained grant of £666,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund the final piece in the £5.5million funding jigsaw.
And planning permission is now also in place after the project was given the green light by East Dunbartonshire Planning Board last week.
The council has been working with development partner hub West Scotland, contractors and East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture (EDLC) Trust to develop the design.
Detailed plans for the facility, which the council says will be ‘functional, flexible and fit for the 21st century’, were put on display at Kirkintilloch Community Hub in August.
They include an event space, a new entrance, reception and vestibule, a first-floor heritage display, a community space, an office, kitchen, store room, locker room and toilets.
It’s expected that the building, which will have a seating capacity of up to 300 and will include an extension to the current building, will be completed in the spring of 2017.
To complement this mix of uses, there will also be an adjoining extension.
Council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “I want to pay tribute to everyone from the council and trust for their efforts and look forward to seeing the project progress early in the new year.
“The town hall will blend history and future in a functional, flexible and sustainable way.
“We’re not trying to achieve a full restoration of what the town hall was.
“The interior of the building will be completely transformed - giving it a new feel, fit for the 21st century.
“The exterior of the new Kirkintilloch Town Hall will be retained and refreshed, but inside will be radically different - able to accommodate a variety of uses and creating an ongoing revenue stream which will be used to off-set the building’s running costs.”