DUMBARTON'S Artizan Shopping Centre could soon have new owners - after West Dunbartonshire Council announced it is negotiating a deal to purchase the retail site.

The shopping centre, located in the town’s High Street, is part of the council’s plans to transform the area by seeing it partly demolished.

The plans for the Artizan form part of the council’s Levelling Up Fund application, with consideration being given to how the pedestrianised shopping precinct can be used to provide recreational space, parking and other community resources while helping existing businesses move into vacant premises on the nearby High Street.

This project would take up the largest share of the government funding.

It’s expected that buying and developing the Artizan Centre site will cost around £10.4m.

Following a meeting of the council's infrastructure, regeneration and economic development committee, members agreed that officers could continue negotiations and conclude the transaction.

Officers will now begin looking at potential development opportunities for the centre.

READ MORE: Plans to transform Dumbarton town centre approved by councillors

Councillor Iain McLaren, convener of the committee, said: “Regenerating Dumbarton town centre has always been a council priority and due to changing shopping habits which have been exacerbated by the pandemic it is now more important than ever that we do all we can to help our high streets to thrive.

“The proposed purchase of the Artizan fits with our ambitions and our desire to make Dumbarton town centre a vibrant, attractive place which is easily accessible by walking, wheeling and cycling.”

The cash will also aim to provide a significant boost to WDC’s plans to transform the B-listed Glencairn House on the High Street into a library, museum and community facility and the completion of the Connecting Dumbarton project to enhance travel connections between the town Centre, waterfront path and Dumbarton Central train station.

The local authority hopes to start work on the projects later in the current financial year, with completion anticipated during 2023-24.

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Diane Docherty, vice convener, added: “In recent years we have completed a number of regeneration projects in and around the town centre including new housing, the waterfront path and new council offices.

“The proposed purchase of the Artizan Centre takes us a step closer to our proposed Levelling Up Fund project, and will allow us to consider how we can redevelop the site in order to boost footfall in the town centre and encourage future investment.

“We are committed to making these enhancements work for our residents and businesses and will work with them closely as this progresses.”