The site, which has lain vacant for a number of years, will eventually be completely regenerated and change the face of the Harbour front.
Phase One of the improvements led by Cullross and Dunbritton Housing Association will deliver up to 108 new affordable homes to the area. It is hoped the homes will go a long way to meeting the demand for high quality accommodation in the town centre and will bring about a real transformation to the town and the Harbour Front in particular.
Dunbritton’s acquisition of the phase one site from Cullross has been fully funded by grant from the Scottish Government and the future development of the homes will be funded by a combination of Scottish Government grant and private finance.
The previous distillery was built on the site of the McMillan Shipyard and operated producing grain whisky and a small amount of single malt whisky until 2002. The distillery itself was known world-wide for its unorthodox method of security as they used geese. The “Scotch Watch” as they were lovingly named, were retired from active duty 2012. Today, all that’s left is the dilapidated red brick tower which was once one of the tallest distillery towers in the world, rivalled only by a distillery tower in Canada.
The current proposals for the redevelopment of the site involve demolishing the tower to make way for much needed new homes.
JM Architects have begun work on designing the proposed site layout and a public consultation will follow in due course and prior to a planning application being submitted.
It is hoped that work will begin on the site within 12 months and that the first homes will be ready for occupation within 12-14 months of starting on site.
Emma Garry, development director, Cullross said: “We are absolutely delighted to be working with Dunbritton Housing Association on this project. It’s an iconic site within the town, everyone knows it, and we look forward to working with the local authority and the public to deliver something really special that meets the identified need for more affordable homes.”
Morven Short, director of DHA, said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with Cullross to bring much-needed high-quality housing to Dumbarton town centre. This represents major investment and I look forward to working with Cullross on this major improvement project.”
Sephton MacQuire, chair of the board at DHA, added: “There are a lot of positive things happening in Dumbarton in terms of regeneration and I and the Board are delighted that Dunbritton is part of this. I am confident that this development will deliver a range of excellent affordable homes where they are needed most and I can see a bright future for Dumbarton and DHA moving forward.”
Patrick McGlinchey, convener of infrastructure, regeneration and economic development at West Dunbartonshire Council, said: “This waterfront site is a key part of the council’s plans to regenerate Dumbarton Harbour. The council is delighted to have been able to work with Dunbritton Housing Association to support them in their plans to develop this land for the benefit of the local area. Once completed, it will provide much-needed affordable housing within Dumbarton Town Centre and also help to further stimulate the wider regeneration already underway.”