Counting on £3.9 million for Buildings partnership centre

County buildings, Linlithgow.
County buildings, Linlithgow.

A modern partnership centre will be created at County Buildings in Linlithgow thanks to a £3.9 million investment by West Lothian Council.

The local authority approved the funding package at the Council Executive on Tuesday.

Works will start on the development later this year.

Dogged by delays and, more recently, the existence of asbestos, numerous rumours had circulated about the project’s future.

The council agreed to develop a new Partnership Centre at County Buildings in January 2013.

Last year, a full review of options for the building was undertaken by the council with a view to finding a solution.

West Lothian Council has now agreed to take forward a revised project that will see all of the existing building redeveloped and utilised.

This could result in a number of facilities being on offer at the building including Linlithgow Library, CIS, Local History Library, Family History Society, Annet House and St Michael’s Day Centre for the elderly.

There will be offices for Police Scotland and possibly for council staff. The council will also look at options to allow letting of office space to small businesses and/or a business incubation centre.

John McGinty, council leader, said: “The development of a Partnership Centre in Linlithgow has always been a key aim for West Lothian Council and this is fantastic news for the town.

“This multi-million pound investment will transform County Buildings and provide local people with first class community facilities in the heart of the town centre.

“The investment will safeguard the future of the building for generations to come.

“By investing in the new Linlithgow Partnership Centre, we believe we are maximising the building’s use.

“A modern, vibrant, busy Partnership Centre in the heart of Linlithgow will also provide benefits to local shops and bring wider economic benefits to the town centre.

“This significant project by the council builds upon a larger programme of investment in Linlithgow, such as the improved sports facilities in the town.”

Chris Long, chairman of Linlithgow Civic Trust, said: “The Trust is aware of the on-line report ‘Linlithgow Partnership Centre – Options Appraisal, Report by the Head of Finance and Estates’.

“Members are pleased that the County Buildings are to be retained.

“However, the Trust regrets the apparent reduction in mainline council functions housed within the Buildings and does not understand how the costs appear to have increased so dramatically.”