South Lanarkshire View
South Lanarkshire View

Masterplan for East Kilbride Centre

Published: Wednesday 3 July 2019

EK Civic Centre

A masterplan is to set out plans for East Kilbride Civic Centre.

It will include how public services might best be delivered in future through that building and the adjacent EK Town Centre.

As a starting point, councillors recently agreed to a plan that would see a new council nursery located in vacant premises located at the front entrance to the Olympia Mall.

The masterplan was approved at a recent meeting of the council’s Executive Committee following  discussions on how to follow the Scottish Government’s ‘Town Centre First Principle’ and encourage diverse and sustainable use of EK Town Centre.

The report notes that “the time is right” for the council and the town centre’s owners to work together to re-assess plans for both the town centre and the Civic Centre.

Factors to be considered in the masterplan include the extensive vacant floor space within the town centre and the need for significant investment to maintain the fabric of the Civic Centre.  The report also notes the impact of HMRC’s decision to relocate offices away from East Kilbride.

John Anderson, Chair of the council's Community and Enterprise Resources Committee, said:  “Taking all of these factors into account, it makes sense to take a proper look not just at the Civic Centre but also how in future we can help the town centre remain at the heart of the East Kilbride community.

“Like me, many local people have grown up going in and out of the Civic Centre for different reasons and they may have an attachment to the building.  But if we are going to help East Kilbride prosper and if we are going to ensure we deliver council services in ways that meet the needs of our residents then we need to look at all the options.

“Local residents and businesses will have their say on this, with public consultation a key part of development of the masterplan.”

The masterplan will examine current and potential uses of the Civic Centre, taking into account the state of its building fabric and its financial viability.

It will look at the potential benefits of redevelopment of the Civic Centre site and also the potential for relocation of public services in the town centre or elsewhere. The findings of all these examinations will be presented in future reports to committee.

As well as approving the preparation of the masterplan, the committee agreed that officers should enter into negotiations with EK Town Centre about leasing space to locate a new nursery at units next to the Olympia Mall main entrance (the former Shopmobility premises, next to Sainsbury’s).

Cllr Anderson added: “Given the tight deadlines we face in order to provide 1140 hours of nursery care, we need to expand our council nursery provision immediately, and this is a very good option with real benefits for parents and carers.

“I also think it’s a real sign that we are planning for the future that even as we launch work on the masterplan we are able to announce that we will locate a council nursery in the town centre.”

An Executive Committee last year had approved the creation of a nursery in the Civic Centre but agreed the change to the town centre on the provision that the project can be delivered by August 2020 and within the approved capital budget of £2.6 million.

Committee members heard that this would also provide better public transport access and car parking for nursery users, and would play a role in increasing footfall and vitality to the area.