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Council deliberates on Dumbarton library and museum vision

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May 2 2019

Council deliberates on Dumbarton library and museum vision

West Dunbartonshire Council is to consider plans to transform the oldest building in the town into a dedicated library, museum and community hub.

The B-listed Glencairn House at Strathleven Place is currently sitting vacant but could be transformed under a £4.6m programme of restoration – complete with a four-storey rear extension overlooking the River Leven.

Should the concept be given the nod it is intended to form level access off the High Street for the first time, including installation of an elevator serving three floors of study, display and recreational spaces. 

One floor would be devoted to local history and include its own exhibition space with artefacts ranging from a Roman Medallion to Sir Jackie Stewart’s Dubonnet Trophy. This would, in turn, free up the present Dumbarton Library to serve as a public collections store and archive, enabling open access to many heritage collections for the first time.

Malcolm Bennie, strategic lead for communications, culture and communities, said: “Glencairn House presents a great opportunity for this council to create a new library for Dumbarton, with purpose-built, modern facilities that are more accessible for residents. It would also provide a permanent museum celebrating the history of this area which is something the community has previously supported.

“In addition, the proposal would protect the history and heritage of this area by giving a new purpose to the oldest building in West Dunbartonshire, and provide a new sustainable future for the existing library building.”

A decision will be taken on 15 May on whether to press ahead with a public consultation to gauge wider support for the vision.

Glencairn House was built in 1623 as the townhouse of a local earl
Glencairn House was built in 1623 as the townhouse of a local earl
The repurposed building would double as a social hub
The repurposed building would double as a social hub


A Local Pleb
#1 Posted by A Local Pleb on 2 May 2019 at 12:56 PM
Looks good, just a pity they couldn't do something with the Weatherspoon's pub next door!
Derek Wilson
#2 Posted by Derek Wilson on 3 May 2019 at 13:02 PM
Is the castle not in the town? Looks good and may stop the town centre continuing to ignore the river.
dumbarton local
#3 Posted by dumbarton local on 3 May 2019 at 13:53 PM
Not sure how I feel about this as part of a local family who uses the existing library.... on one hand further enhancing the high street with footfall will provide further benefits (new housing and council offices recently completed) - it also provides a function for the historic building. On the other hand the existing library is a great purpose built building - which has some good spaces and nice light. I suppose it will all just come down to the spaces in the historic building and how these are designed and integrated. In terms of comment 2 - I'm not sure the proposal looks radical enough to address the gap between the High Street and the river!

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