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Delivering for Balloch: assessing new uses for the castle

If you’ve walked around Balloch Castle Country Park recently, you may have noticed that work has been taking place on the castle. West Dunbartonshire Council has been busy carrying out repairs to the building, ensuring that it remains wind and water tight.

This is the first phase of a wider project the council has embarked on to revive the building and ensure that it is used to its full potential. A team of architects and economists have been working  to investigate new uses for the much-loved castle and prepare a feasibility study for this important historic building. This is an exciting project and is one of the 5 priority projects identified by the community during the “Live in Balloch” charrette process.

What local people said

In March, a public drop-in event was held so local people could have their say and share ideas on what the castle could be used for in the future. A wide range of ideas were put forward and it remains clear that there is a lot of enthusiasm about bringing the building back into use. Exactly what form that will take has still to be decided, but some of the ideas included:

  • a small boutique hotel;
  • arts or exhibition space;
  • a heritage centre;
  • a venue for weddings and events;
  • a good quality restaurant or coffee shop;
  • a range of small courtyard shops and a café; and
  • a centre focused on outdoor activities.

It was felt that bringing the castle back into use will bring important benefits to the Country Park and the wider area, encouraging more visitors, creating employment, and protecting an important historic building for future generations.

What happens next?

The team of architects and economists commissioned by the council will now examine each of the ideas put forward – both their suitability for the building and their economic sustainability – and assess how achievable they are. On this basis, a recommendation will then be made to West Dunbartonshire Council on the most appropriate way forward for Balloch Castle. Further updates will follow.

Stay updated

You can keep in touch with LIVE in Balloch and the plans for Balloch Castle at www.liveinballoch.com or www.facebook.com/ourlivepark.

 

The project is part of an exciting initiative called ‘LIVE in Balloch’, which is helping to shape the future of Balloch.  It is a partnership between West Dunbartonshire Council and Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park

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