Work to reopen the Denny Civic Theater in Dumbarton has been approved by councillors.
The St Mary’s Way site has yet to reopen after the lockdown, after the contractor who ran the theater retired and removed vital private AV equipment for staging shows.
At a meeting of West Dunbartonshire Council’s cultural committee last week, members agreed to push ahead with plans for a £200,000 refurbishment of the venue.
A report presented to members said the cost of installing professional audiovisual equipment at the Denny Civic would be around £175,000, with additional funding for changing rooms, redecorating and improving public toilets.
Cash of up to £100,000 would also allow surveys to be undertaken and designs to be developed to improve the accessibility and use of the building for shows, functions and events.
Bailie Denis Agnew, chairman of the cultural committee, said: ‘The people of West Dunbartonshire deserve the highest standard of amenity.
“The Denny Civic Theater is a place that has been close to my heart for a long, long time.”
Welcoming the move, Leven councilor John Millar asked why the majority of West Dunbartonshire Council’s cultural capital fund was being spent at Clydebank.
The Labor member said: “Of the £2million spent so far, a huge amount of funds are spent at Clydebank compared to Dumbarton and Vale.
“Clydebank has 49% of the population, but 88% of the spending. What is the basis of expenditure inequality in the area? »
In response, council leader Jonathan McColl of the SNP pointed out that major investment in Dumbarton came from outside the fund, as he called for an end to feuds between local towns.
Councilor McColl said: “We need to move away from the Dumbarton and Vale of Leven v Clydebank rhetoric. It’s been a problem in every SNP group I’ve been involved in, I know it’s been a problem in the Labor groups as well.
“We all have the same discussions.
“We are a local authority and it is the job of councilors to ensure we have facilities suitable for the whole of West Dunbartonshire.
“For this reason, the money is allocated based on need, not geography.”
Bailie Agnew added: ‘There is no intention of any inequality, previous committee and task force recommendations have identified this.
“There is a huge development going on at Glencairn House which will cost millions.
“Glencairn House is funded through other means rather than having to use the cultural capital fund significantly, including the Leveling Up fund and funds from the Scottish Government.
“The cultural capital fund is not really necessary for this.