THE town’s new “state-of-the-art” health centre won unanimous backing from councillors last week.

The project, to be set on the site of the original John Brown’s foundry, will open in 2020 if all the remaining approvals and funding are given.

West Dunbartonshire Council’s planning committee heard how the building will give a firm nod to the past with its location on the former shipyard site and also its material, such as Corten steel.

There remain concerns about Clydebank losing its current X-ray facilities but NHS bosses said they remained open to possible deals with the Golden Jubilee Hospital. And the building was flexible enough to allow for future new equipment to be added.

The architect for the new centre told councillors Corten was as close a material as they could get to the past.

But as well as honouring history, the facility would have the highest standards to prevent overheating, well beyond what the NHS currently provides. And while the design only requires one lift, there would be three, again going beyond what they had to, said the project managers.

Concerns have been raised about disabled access but Jackie Maceira, from the West Dunbartonshire Access Panel, told the committee: “We have had extensive input from day one. We have been delighted. It’s worked well with us being there from the beginning.

“There will be a bus stop right outside the health centre. The infrastructure will be there. Inside will be great.”

Mr Maceira also addressed concerns mobility scooter users will have to switch to wheelchairs in the centre. He said they agreed they should be banned inside because of their power and potential speed, and there will be volunteers on site to assist anyone in need.

Beth Culshaw, chief officer of the West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership, said they would look again at alternative provisions for X-rays beyond sending patients to Gartnavel but, at the moment, it is a Scotland-wide policy to centralise the service, particularly because of staffing.

She added: “We are willing to explore again with the Golden Jubilee and we have made contact with them. We have not closed the door on that.”

Councillor John Mooney said he was impressed by the history connection made by the new centre and suggested Clydebank’s 150th birthday in 2021 would be an opportunity to tie in with the facility’s opening.

Councillor Diane Docherty said: “It’s really good to see disability groups so well supported. I think it’s a big step forward.”

Councillor Marie McNair, who chairs the WDHSCP, added: “This is a very exciting time for Clydebank. This is a state-of-the-art facility and will help improve the lives of many in the community.”

Bailie Denis Agnew said: “We need this.”

The committee unanimously agreed to the plans.

Greenock and Stobhill are also to get new centres and the NHS will seek Scottish Government money to build the three together.