Alexandria Town Centre Masterplan was approved by West Dunbartonshire Council on 15 September 2021. You can download a copy of the approved Masterplan here.

You can read the Council’s Committee Report about the masterplan here (go to Item 10 on the agenda), and a summary of responses to the public consultation on the draft masterplan in Spring 2021 here.

This website was created as part of the process of developing the masterplan during 2020 and 2021, to enable local residents and businesses to find out more and have their say. It explains why and how the masterplan was prepared.

The focus has now moved from preparing the masterplan to delivering it. This website remains online as a record of the consultation process but may be updated in the future to reflect progress in delivering the masterplan. If you would like more information about delivery of the masterplan, please contact the Council’s Regeneration Team by email - regeneration@west-dunbarton.gov.uk - or phone - 01389 737777.

Alexandria town centre needs to improve to fulfil its role as the heart of the Vale.

cartoon heart cartoon heart

To make this a reality, the Council is preparing a masterplan for the town centre. This will be used to guide activities over the next 15 years and secure resources to make things happen. The purpose of the consultation in May-June 2021 was to ask if we’re on the right track.

The masterplan will comprise a number of projects in the town centre. You can see what was proposed in the May-June 2021 consultation in the plan below. Click on each suggested project to see more information about it and a summary of the consultation responses.

No single project will turn the town centre around, but taken together we believe that they will help make the town centre more active, more attractive and more accessible.

Responses Overview

In the May-June 2021 consultation responses, people were asked to rate the importance of each of the 12 projects on a scale of 1 (thumbs down) to 5 (thumbs up). The two graphs below show the results. Please tap on the graphs or hover over them with your mouse for details.

It is worth noting that all projects scored above average in terms of popular importance – between 3.5 and 4.6 out of 5.

Q1 Average score for each proposal

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Number of people scoring (Q1) and commenting (Q2) on each proposal

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Main Street

Wider and better pavements, easier to cross the road, stopping illegal parking, better lighting, canopy repairs, more greenery, seating and car park signage and links... these are the ideas proposed along Main Street between the Smollett Fountain and the CE Centre. 

The aim is to make Main Street more attractive for people to spend time in, supporting businesses and community life. 

There will be more consultation as detailed proposals are worked up. 

Before / After

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Before/ After

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Before/ After

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Consultation comments

As well as scoring each project for its importance, people were given the opportunity to provide other comments to help take each project forward. Below is the summary of the main points for Main Street project:

  • Mixed views for and against.
  • Concerns that narrowing Main Street will result in traffic blockages from illegal parking, deliveries and buses, and cause increased traffic on Middleton Street.
  • Concern expressed about creating another situation like the centre of Balloch.
  • Parking enforcement will be essential to avoid the road being blocked.
  • The road needs to be wide enough for buses to pass.
  • Maintenance will be important.
  • Pedestrian crossings and disabled access essential.
  • More greenery and the better pavements are not enough on their own - need to attract wider range of businesses in order to attract more people.

Please refer to Consultation Report to read individual comments in full.

Smollett Fountain

The Council has already committed funding for restoration of the Smollett Fountain, including improving the setting and road junction to improve pedestrian safety and traffic management.  Design work is well advanced and work should start this year.  

Temporary changes are currently being trialled on site, including changes to the traffic lights. Any comments you have on those temporary changes will help to inform permanent improvements.

Smollet Fountain

To celebrate the importance of this listed structure, which sits on the junction of Bank Street and Main Street and represents the ‘heart’ of Alexandria, the Council has committed funding for the restoration of the fountain and general upgrading of its surroundings. The aims are also to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety whilst also allowing traffic to move through the junction in a courteous and slower manner by altering traffic management priorities.

Work will be undertaken in three phases. The first phase has already started on site in Spring 2021. This phase of work is a temporary trial funded by Sustrans. The changes to pedestrian crossings and the management of traffic will be monitored and observations used to refine the second phase of work due to start in Summer 2021: permanent changes to the road and pavement layout.

The third and final phase will be refurbishment works to the fountain itself, which was last restored in 1996. The proposals include a creative lighting using a ‘Fountain of Light’ concept. We know that people are also keen to see reinstatement of the disconnected water supply to the gravity fed fountain. Unfortunately we will not know whether this is possible until investigative work is completed as part of the current trial works.

  • Fountain of Light with annotaions
  • Fountain of Light in amber colour
  • Fountain of Light in blue colour
  • Fountain of Light in maroon colour
  • Fountain of Light in red colour
smollet fountain plans

Before/ After

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Before/ After

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Consultation comments

As well as scoring each project for its importance, people were given the opportunity to provide other comments to help take each project forward. Below is the summary of the main points for Smollett Fountain project:

  • Concerns about traffic flow, road width and long vehicles turning.
  • Many comments referred to the impact of the current temporary works, such as inconsistent lane widths and queues.
  • Comments on details included locations of planters and details of road layout.
  • Good to restore heritage and get the Fountain working again.
  • Some people support improvement of the Fountain but are concerned about the road changes.

Please refer to Consultation Report to read individual comments in full.

Property Improvements

Many town centre properties are in poor condition. We want to explore what can be done to improve them and make them more attractive for new uses. 

This will require working with building owners and finding funding for things like building repairs, painting,  shopfront improvements, re-use of upper floors and so on.

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Consultation comments

As well as scoring each project for its importance, people were given the opportunity to provide other comments to help take each project forward. Below is the summary of the main points for Property Improvements project:

  • Many buildings are very rundown and need attention.
  • Good to support business, high rents are an issue too.
  • A more uniform look and restoring heritage would be good.
  • Need to work with owners and businesses.
  • Should public money be spent on this?

Please refer to Consultation Report to read individual comments in full.

Mitchell Way

Demolition of the vacant buildings on the south side of Mitchell Way, improved public spaces and construction of a new supermarket (Lidl are currently interested).  The plan below show how Mitchell Way could be redeveloped with a new supermarket, public space and commercial/residential development.

mitchell way plan

Consultation comments

As well as scoring each project for its importance, people were given the opportunity to provide other comments to help take each project forward. Below is the summary of the main points for Mitchell Way project:

  • Major eyesore and an urgent priority.
  • Mixed views on the need for another supermarket.
  • Need to see more detail of how the public space would look, how the redevelopment would attract more businesses, and how the supermarket would support the existing town centre.

Please refer to Consultation Report to read individual comments in full.

New Homes

This would be a big transformational project covering a large area between Mitchell Way, Bank Street and Bridge Street, on either side of the railway station. 

It would include:
  • 100-200 new good-quality affordable homes.  
  • Supporting facilities like green space, play areas and so on.
  • Removal of the big roundabout around the railway station and reinstate old direct routes of Bank Street and Chapel Street.
  • Improvements to the railway station.

The aim is to achieve:
  • More people living in the town centre - and therefore more footfall for businesses.
  • More good quality homes for local residents.
  • Make it easier to walk and cycle between Bonhill Bridge and the town centre, by removing the roundabout around the station.

The work would be carried out in stages and would take 5-10 years.  The first step would be to undertake a feasibility study to work out potential types of homes, site plans, supporting facilities and infrastructure, costs, sources of funding and phasing.  

Good design quality for new homes, streets and green spaces would be a priority.

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Consultation comments

As well as scoring each project for its importance, people were given the opportunity to provide other comments to help take each project forward. Below is the summary of the main points for New Homes project:

  • Widespread support for new homes, although some negative views also.
  • Affordable homes are needed especially to keep young people in the area.
  • Proposals need to include parking, roads, schools, shops, green spaces and play areas, including’20 minute neighbourhood’ concept. Homes should be houses rather than flats, eco-friendly, high quality and good design.
  • Mixed views on removing the roundabout around the station: some suggest it will improve access from Bonhill to the town centre, others are concerned about impact on traffic flow.

Please refer to Consultation Report to read individual comments in full.

Alexandria Library

We want to encourage more life and activity in the town centre, by investing in community buildings and spaces so that there is more indoor and outdoor space for events and activities in the town centre.  The increased footfall would also help town centre businesses.

For Alexandria Library, funding has already been secured to install a lift and refurbish the upstairs space for community use (for example, a youth theatre) and new space for exhibitions about the Vale's heritage - including Turkey Red, Argyll Motor Works and Renton FC winning the world championship. 

Future work could include opening up the Library garden as a community space, heritage trails, projects with local schools, and events space and better lighting in front of the Library.

Before/ After

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library plan

Consultation comments

As well as scoring each project for its importance, people were given the opportunity to provide other comments to help take each project forward. Below is the summary of the main points for Alexandria Library project:

  • General support for improving and making more of it, good for the community.
  • Lots of ideas for how to use the new community spaces inside the building.
  • Limited support for proposed changes to the road outside.

Please refer to Consultation Report to read individual comments in full.

Viresco Studios

Viresco Studios is transforming the former St Andrews Church on Main Street, opposite the CE Centre, into new arts and creative activities and studios.  The Studios will provide cultural and art opportunities to people who would not normally access them, increasing pride in Alexandria and its connections to a larger audience through Scotland and beyond as it attracts and welcomes visitors.

The project recently received major Scottish Government funding and is now in progress.

Find out more on the Viresco Studios website.

former St Andrew Church courtesy Google Streetview

Consultation comments

As well as scoring each project for its importance, people were given the opportunity to provide other comments to help take each project forward. Below is the summary of the main points for Viresco Studios project:

  • Good to have something creative like this, especially for young people.
  • Needs to be accessible and open to the whole community.
  • Need to conserve the historic fabric of the church, graves and so on.
  • Need to coordinate with other initiatives like the CE Centre, library, and Lomond Galleries.
  • Questions over use of public funding for a project on property currently in private ownership.

Please refer to Consultation Report to read individual comments in full.

CE Centre

We want to encourage more outdoor events and activities in the town centre in existing event spaces like Christie Park and the CE Centre car park.  This would increase community activity, bring more people into the town centre, and help town centre businesses.

The car park between the CE Centre and Overton Street could be improved to make it easier to organise more events, as shown in the visualisation below.


Before/ After

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Consultation comments

As well as scoring each project for its importance, people were given the opportunity to provide other comments to help take each project forward. Below is the summary of the main points for CE Centre project:

  • Support for more markets, local music events etc.
  • Concern about reduction in parking, especially because it is a busy car park with disabled spaces.
  • CE Centre needs a makeover to.

Please refer to Consultation Report to read individual comments in full.

Green Heritage Corridors

More trees, greenery and flowers in the town centre including along Main Street, to Christie Park, and down to the Barry the Cat mural on the river. 

As well as brightening up the streets, improving walking and cycling and bringing in more nature, these ‘Green Heritage Corridors’ would create lots of opportunities for local residents, schools and community groups to be involved in artwork, better play facilities, growing food, tree planting and nature trails.

Some of this greening could be temporary until gap sites are developed. The visualisation below shows one possible example of how these temporary greening could look on a currently vacant site on Bank Street, subject to funding and necessary agreements.

green corridors plan

Before/ After

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Before/ After

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Consultation comments

As well as scoring each project for its importance, people were given the opportunity to provide other comments to help take each project forward. Below is the summary of the main points for Green Heritage Corridors project:

  • Mixed views, but widespread support for improvements like this.
  • Some concerns about future maintenance.

Please refer to Consultation Report to read individual comments in full.

Cycling and Walking Network

A network of safe walking and cycle routes making it easier to get to the town centre from different parts of the Vale, so folk can safely walk and cycle to school, to the town centre or to meet friends.  

The network can become a focus to encourage people to get outdoors and be active, including organising community events like walking groups and cycling festivals.

The network should link with the National Cycle Network along the river, and encourage visitors walking and cycling between Dumbarton and Loch Lomond to come into the town centre and see what it has to offer.

plan

Consultation comments

As well as scoring each project for its importance, people were given the opportunity to provide other comments to help take each project forward. Below is the summary of the main points for Cycling and Walking Network project:

Please refer to Consultation Report to read individual comments in full.

Christie Park

Christie Park is a wonderful asset for the town in so many ways: a beautiful historic green space in the heart of the town, and a place for everything from big community events to simply enjoying some peace and quiet.  

Ideas for improvements to the Park include:

  • Path link to the hospital.
  • Reopening the toilets.
  • Renovation of the War Memorial.
  • More community activities like family fun, heritage and nature walks, and arts events. 
  • Anchor for the Green Heritage Corridors.

img 1
by Eddie Mackinnon is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
img 2
by Son of Groucho is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Consultation comments

As well as scoring each project for its importance, people were given the opportunity to provide other comments to help take each project forward. Below is the summary of the main points for Christie Park project:

  • Much support, the park is seen as a great asset.
  • Popular improvement ideas include toilets, café, kiosk, bandstand, potting green, improved toddlers area, better maintenance, path link to hospital, community activities, less antisocial behaviour.

Please refer to Consultation Report to read individual comments in full.

Lomond Galleries

The former Argyll Motor Works is a wonderful building with some great businesses inside.  But how can we make more of its untapped potential?  

Since the building and forecourt are privately owned, all we can do at this stage is to put forward ideas.  For example:

  • More events in the forecourt? For example, historic car shows harking back to its heyday as the Argyll Motor Works, outdoor heritage exhibitions for locals and tourists, or showcasing local businesses with events or popups.
  • New landscaping, recreational space, lightshows and art installations in front of the building and in the empty facade towards Heather Avenue? 
  • A new modern extension at the Heather Avenue end of the building for more business space, arts studios or apartments?

The plan and visualisations below offer some ideas of how the Galleries could be enhanced in the future.  Please note that these ideas do not necessarily represent the views of the owner.

plan

Before/ After

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Consultation comments

As well as scoring each project for its importance, people were given the opportunity to provide other comments to help take each project forward. Below is the summary of the main points for Lomond Galleries project:

  • A beautiful historic asset for the Vale but underused.
  • Great scope to attract visitors and locals for events, arts and so on.
  • Bring back the former car boot sale!
  • Conversion to flats suggested by some people.
  • Some suggest that the Council should step in, others say not.

Please refer to Consultation Report to read individual comments in full.

Below you can see some of the comments people have left on each project. You can read them all in Consulatation Report.

Comment on Lomond Galleries project:

Terrific ideas for a wonderful building. Should be used for events and arts projects.

Comment on Smollett Fountain project:

The proposed works at the fountain are positive, although more needs to be done to minimise disruption for all.

Comment on Lomond Galleries project:

Amusements?

Comment on Christie Park project:

The war memorial definitely requires attention, sadly in my opinion it has been a bit of an eyesore since the fence was erected round it. It would also be good to see the fountain in the park back to its former glory.

Comment on Lomond Galleries project:

I really do hope that the owner can be persuaded to accept this excellent project.

Comment on CE Centre project:

Taking away parking would just incentivize me not to go into Alexandria. If the buses were reasonably priced I'd take them but that's just not the case.

Comment on Mitchell Way project:

Mitchell way is a disaster and a complete mess and an accident waiting to happen meaning people just don't want to be there. Instead of talking about demolishing this area for years why not just go ahead and do it?

Comment on Lomond Galleries project:

So you are removing all the parking at the front of it then - great idea = NOT!

Comment on Property Improvements project:

Much needed in some areas.

Comment on Mitchell Way project:

This is fab but the shops need revamoed

Comment on Viresco Studios project:

A tourist attraction like Viresco Studios that can link with the development of the motor works (Lomond Galleries) is the key to socially activating the rest of Alexandria.

Comment on Mitchell Way project:

The empty flats in Mitchell Way are eyesore and riddled with vermin. This area is in great need of development and it has been for years. I would be interested to know what would be contained in the proposed new devlopment.

Comment on Property Improvements project:

Important if it is to the business owners requirements and not forced upon them.

Comment on Property Improvements project:

A very good project but not top priority

Comment on Cycling and Walking Network project:

Would be great and would be nice to use it if it weren't for the constant crime that goes on

Comment on Main Street project:

I think traffic flow is the priority rather than reducing road capacity, the shops are not that busy that we need wider footpaths and not likely to change... and no one wants to sit on seating beside a road!

Comment on Christie Park project:

Defo, since the upgrade of the kids play area it has been greatly used although the toddler area is badlh needing looked at. Plus the buildings running down the side of the park ! What are they used for as no one knows.

Comment on CE Centre project:

This is a fantastic idea. A weekly or fortnightly market for local businesses would be amazing and this is a perfect space

Comment on Smollett Fountain project:

Widening the pavement, and therefore making the road smaller is not a good idea at this junction. It is already tight as it is, and making the pavement wider outside of what is currently partners/the post office will lead to road accidents

Comment on Christie Park project:

I don’t think there should be a path to the hospital as encourages anti social behaviour

Comment on Mitchell Way project:

URGENT

Comment on New Homes project:

There is sufficient residential property in Alexandria. Restore the older sandstone buildings instead.

Comment on Mitchell Way project:

How about informing the two businesses still in the south side of Mitchell Way of these moves to demolish and what will happen. People working there have no clue about what is actually going on.

Comment on Lomond Galleries project:

We all enjoyed the weekly car boot sales which brought the Community together . New owner never interested in Community just customers

Comment on Viresco Studios project:

This is a beautiful building which needs to be at the heart of the community, as I have previously mentioned, involving the community and actually working with and for them, is long overdue.

Comment on Mitchell Way project:

Providing affordable options for shopping within close proximity to local communities is essential.

Comment on Main Street project:

It’s more shops we need keep the rent and rates lower

Comment on Main Street project:

Looks like money going into planting, trees etc, no real change except wider pavements, surely there's something better???

Comment on CE Centre project:

I agree this is important. However if you want people to use the town centre there NEEDS to be parking. Especially when the redesign for Main Street is going to remove parking along there. The above plan halves a significant large car park.

Comment on Viresco Studios project:

Nice idea, but our council shouldn't be putting funds in to a private company.

Comment on Lomond Galleries project:

Great ideas but 2nd last in priority so far for me

Comment on New Homes project:

Pleased that empty spaces would be used, but, this is a town centre not a residential estate!

Comment on Green Heritage Corridors project:

WDC can't even maintain the ugly black 3 tier planters you placed a few years ago ie outside the CE Centre. The worst thing to happen to the Vale was moving the leisure Trust in there & cutting off the community centre from the community

Comment on Green Heritage Corridors project:

Good for the environment and improving the surroundings

Comment on Lomond Galleries project:

Important to maintain this listed building

Comment on Smollett Fountain project:

Just leave it alone,

Comment on Viresco Studios project:

Pointless

Comment on New Homes project:

Fine, build "affordable" new home, but how about fixing the access to and from the area before adding more traffic to it. One road in and out is a NIGHTMARE.

Comment on Lomond Galleries project:

How about forcing the landlord to take care of the building

Comment on Green Heritage Corridors project:

It would be nice to see more green in the town, but again wasting so much funds changing road and pavement layouts with no real benefit from this. Maybe try repairing the pavements that are already there, as most of them are in a terrible state!

Comment on Green Heritage Corridors project:

The areas you show are is desperate, desperate need of a facelift, so yes - any improvement would be very welcome

Comment on Green Heritage Corridors project:

Please spend some money in the gardens in your park flower beds are a mess all year round

Comment on Viresco Studios project:

Welcomed idea for getting locals involved in activities

Comment on Smollett Fountain project:

now when someone parks outside tungs (because they will) the whole road will back up threw junction as it did last week.

Comment on Cycling and Walking Network project:

Sounds good as longs as the roads are not narrowed down. Going back to the balloch example, it's very tight on that new road with oncoming buses, hgvs, people towing boats etc.

Comment on Main Street project:

As much the enjoy look at images of what the future for Alexandria, I feel like it's not gonna last long. Kids these days are disrespectful and will destroy these plants that your thinking about planting.

Comment on Lomond Galleries project:

Attracting better shops into the galleries would be a better idea

Comment on New Homes project:

Good idea

Comment on Lomond Galleries project:

It would be nice

Comment on Main Street project:

Avoid "crossing areas" on road without lights