New homes built on the site of the famous La Scala cinema – one of Clydebank’s most iconic buildings – have officially been opened.

Clydebank Housing Association’s first development since 2009 has seen 44 new flats be named the “La Scala Apartments” after the landmark picture house.

West Dunbartonshire Council and the housing association worked in partnership to bring a total of 84 new homes to the area through the Scottish Government’s affordable housing programme.

A target of at least 35,000 new homes for social rent by 2021 is currently in place.

The development was split in two with 44 one and two-bedroom flats built on the La Scala sit by AS Homes. Four properties of them being wheelchair adapted.

During the Clydebank Blitz in 1941, only three years after the cinema opened, the building on Graham Avenue miraculously survived while much of the town was flattened.

With a capacity for more than 2,000 people, films such as The Wizard of Oz were first shown. And during the night of the raids, Young People, starring Shirley Temple, was screened to a packed venue that remained barely untouched.

Beside the former cinema site - later a Gala Bingo, a further 40 properties were built on Second Avenue/Singer Street by construction company CCG.

One, two, three and four bedrooms, including townhouses and terraced houses were completed.

Kevin Stewart, the minister for local government, housing and planning visited the area to officially open both new social housing developments located in the centre of the town.

He said: “I’m delighted to officially open these two new housing developments, supported by more than £5.5 million of Scottish Government funding.

“They will provide affordable, good quality social rented housing in the Clydebank area. The Scottish Government very much values the work of community-based housing associations and the powerful impact of partnership working.”

With 3,810 applicants on the council’s waiting list and a further 800 on the housing associations, the homes were a much-needed addition to the area.

The minister met with two tenants whose circumstances have already been greatly improved by the development.

One of those was Angela McGonagle who has benefitted significantly by a life changing move into a two-bedroom wheelchair-adapted property.

Kimberley Tennant, chairwoman of CHA, said: “It was fantastic that the minister took the time to stop off at our new build developments, so he can see at first hand the difference Scottish Government funding has made to our area and to people’s lives. “We are delighted with the final product and hope tenants will have many happy years in their new homes and benefit from the high standards of energy efficiency measures and design.”