BUYING and partly demolishing the Artizan Centre in Dumbarton has been identified as one of the top priorities for West Dunbartonshire Council (WDC) in its proposed bids to the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund.

A new report reveals that if a £22.1 million bid to the government’s £4.8 billion fund – of which £800 million has been set aside for Scotland – is successful, the authority plans to buy and partly demolish the Artizan Centre and prepare the site for redevelopment.

Members of WDC’s infrastructure, regeneration and economic development committee will meet on June 10 to consider a bid to the new fund, which is aimed at “address[ing] systemic weaknesses in the economies of the UK’s towns and cities”.

The report says the bid will include “acquisition of the partially vacant Artizan Centre followed by part demolition and preparation of the site for redevelopment”, as well as bolstering plans to turn Glencairn House into a library, museum, and community facility, and enhancing “active travel” between Dumbarton Central railway station and the town’s new waterfront path.

It states: “In the event of the application being successful, a proposed development plan for the Artizan Centre site will be reported.”

The report reveals that an option for the council to buy the Artizan Centre, with conditions, is “being progressed with the owner’s agent”.

Jackie Baillie MSP said: “I welcome any investment into Dumbarton High Street and the £22.1m Levelling Up Fund is great news as it is money that has not been available previously.

“The only concern is that it does rely on several external factors and there is no certainty that the owners of the Artizan will sell the site back to the council, but on the face of it, if this goes ahead then it would be really positive news for the High Street.”

It also says that if WDC’s bid for £22.1m is successful, £8.45m will be used on the Glencairn House project, £10.4m on the Artizan Centre, and £3.25m on improving active travel links.

The report adds that “further consideration will be given to projects that could be eligible for major transportation funding of up to £50m” in future rounds of the fund.

The deadline for submission of a bid is Friday, June 18.