The council plans to relocate 500 staff currently based at Garshake to the offices at the site of the former Dumbarton Academy building in Church Street.
Delivered on behalf of the council by hub West Scotland, the £15.4 million project is set to be completed in late 2017 and will provide a catalyst for the regeneration of the town. It will also generate annual savings over the lifetime of the building compared to maintaining the current Garshake offices.
The facility will include a public area with multi-use civic space, training and meeting rooms with a substantial new building to the rear containing office space.
The design by Keppie will retain the A-listed facade of the historic building and construct new offices at the rear. The council secured a £500,000 grant to help pay for the restoration and discussions are ongoing with Historic Environment Scotland over this element of the project.
Works on the William Leiper-designed façade should commence early in 2017 and will include re-roofing, conservation and repair of the original stonework, and refurbishment of the existing main entrance timber doors.
The annex behind the façade was demolished last year to make way for the development and enabling works have been progressing to prepare the site for the new building and work is also underway on the car park.
Councillor Patrick McGlinchey, convener of infrastructure and regeneration, cut the first sod on site together with vice-convener Councillor David McBride and pupils from Dumbarton Academy in recognition of the site’s history.
Councillor McGlinchey said: “This project is hugely significant for the council and for the town of Dumbarton. It will provide the council with much-need modern, fit-for-purpose office space while retaining and restoring a historic building for future generations to enjoy. In addition, the development will transform this area of the town and link with the planned activity at Dumbarton Waterfront. I’m looking forward to seeing the building taking shape over the coming months and to the benefits it will bring to Dumbarton.”
Councillor David McBride, vice-convener of infrastructure and regeneration, added: “We have a clear vision to regenerate our town centres and this project is a key element of our plans for Dumbarton. We’re bringing 500 staff into the town centre, increasing footfall and kick-starting economic activity. This landmark building greets visitors to our town centre and its restoration will only help to raise perceptions and send a clear message that we are open for business.”