£28m West Dunbartonshire industrial regeneration project progressing

West Dunbartonshire CouncilPlans for a major industrial and commercial development near Bowling and a new Dalmonach Community Centre are to be considered by councillors later this month.

A new report will set out proposals for West Dunbartonshire Council to purchase of the former Exxon site in early 2017 if negotiations go to plan.

The council wants to transform the site near Bowling with a major industrial and commercial development, and create a road to provide an alternative route in and out of West Dunbartonshire.

The £28m project, which is part of the Glasgow City Region City Deal, would support up to 690 full time jobs, with the site potentially generating an additional £19.1m each year for the West of Scotland economy.

The report being presented to councillors on April 27 sets out a timeline for the delivery of this project. The first major milestone is anticipated to be a purchase agreement for the site will be provided from Exxon by November, with any conditions and a purchase price included. The council would then have six months to negotiate an agreement.

If this was successful then it is hoped that a masterplan for the site would be submitted for planning permission by October 2017, with work on site then scheduled to start at the beginning of 2020.

The report also highlights that Exxon has confirmed its commitment to ensuring the site is remediated. In addition, the council should have access to the site by the end of this month to allow site investigations to be made.

West Dunbartonshire’s Strategic Business Case for the Exxon project, which was approved in June last year, shows that the council would contribute £3.8m to the overall project cost, with the remainder being funded by grants from the UK and Scottish Governments.

Jim McAloon, the council’s strategic lead for regeneration, said: “The City Deal project is one of the key regeneration priorities for the council as we aim to improve economic growth and employability throughout West Dunbartonshire. The council report lists the progress being made to acquire the Exxon site and how we propose to move forward together. It is up to Councillors to consider and approve our plans and the new timeline for the project.”

Plans to build a new £1.15m Dalmonach Community Centre and nursery will also be considered by councillors.

The existing Dalmonach CE Centre, in Bonhill, was forced to close in January following serious damage to its flat-roof.

Since the closure groups who use the facility have been provided with alternative accommodation, but many have expressed a desire to see it re-built.

The proposal being put forward to council is to build a new community centre which also has additional nursery space.

The nearby Dalmonach Early Learning & Childcare Centre previously used the community centre to meet their requirements and this demand is predicted to continue in future.

It is considered that the demand for childcare in the area could be met by creating bespoke space within the re-built facility and increasing the overall provision available.

Other options being presented to councillors include demolishing the existing building and not providing a replacement, which would cost £40,000, or building a like-for-like replacement at a cost of £700,000.

Ronnie Dinnie, strategic lead for environment and neighbourhood, said: “The community and groups who used Dalmonach CE Centre have said they would like to see it replaced. We have taken this into account and presented three options to councillors. It is now up to them to decide the best way forward for the future of this site.”

Once a decision has been made by councillors, detailed proposals will be presented to a future infrastructure, regeneration and economic development committee following consultation with key stakeholders.

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