WEST Dunbartonshire Council has agreed terms to buy the Artizan Centre for £1.7 million as part of the regeneration of the heart of Dumbarton.

Plans for the pedestrianised shopping precinct formed a key part of the council’s Levelling Up funding bid, which was approved by the UK Government last month.

Officers have been in discussion with the current owners of the centre, between the High Street and St Mary's Way, and have completed negotiations to confirm the sale of the facility.

At a meeting of the authority's infrastructure, regeneration and economic development committee this week, members approved the temporary use of council capital budgets to finance the purchase until Levelling Up Funding is received.

It means plans for the future of the Artizan Centre can progress, and officers will begin looking at potential development opportunities for the centre.

Consideration will be given to how the site can be enhanced to introduce a better link to the town centre and encourage future investment on the High Street.

Officers will also begin engagement with existing tenants, as well as providing them with regular updates.

Councillor Iain McLaren, the committee's convener and a Dumbarton ward councillor, said: “Regenerating Dumbarton town centre has always been a council priority and we are doing all we can to help our high streets to thrive.

“The 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.”

Diane Docherty, the committee's vice-convener, added: “I am delighted that the council was awarded additional funding for this project,  and completing the purchase of the Artizan 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.”