A PLANNED new activity centre promoting cycling and kayaking in the centre of Clydebank is a step closer to reality after West Dunbartonshire councillors agreed to a construction contract of around £1 million for the project.

The contract for a "modular and transportable building" at Three Queens Square, next to the Forth and Clyde Canal, has been awarded to Kier Construction Ltd for ten months at a value of up to £982,000.

Councillors heard this week that because a detailed design has not yet been produced, the exact cost of the building, which will be run by youth organisation Y Sort It, has yet to be finalised.

However the cost, being met with the help of funding from the Scottish Government, will not exceed that £982,000 total, a West Dunbartonshire Council (WDC) official said.

An update on the project, which was developed in response to the recommendation from the Clydebank Charrettes to bring more activity into the town centre and make better use of the canal, was brought before the council's tendering committee on Wednesday.

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The meeting was told the centre will be designed to harmonise with its surroundings, resulting in an attractive new design feature in Clydebank town centre. 

Council officer Derek McLean told the committee: “Following the Clydebank charrette which requested more activity in the Clydebank Town Centre, it is proposed to deliver a modular and transportable building.

“This would be run by Y Sort It for primarily cycling activities [such as] bike hire [and] bike repair.

"There would be some kayaking activities, what with it being next to the canal, and a kitchen for food and drink as well.”

The activity centre will also offer storage, washing facilities, changing rooms, and will also be available for use by local community groups.

Mr McLean added: “The final cost of the building is unknown at the moment as the building has not yet been designed, but it will not exceed the £982,000 which has been put forward.

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“I want to point out that if we do not award the contract by the end of January, we will lose the Scottish Government funding, which would likely terminate this project at least for the foreseeable future.”

Following the presentation councillors agreed to award the contract to Kier Construction Ltd.

The Scottish Government has pledged £747,000 towards the project from its Regeneration Capital Grant Fund, while WDC itself is providing £200,000.

A further £35,000 is coming from development contributions paid to the council by private developers.

The contract will begin on Monday, January 31.

According to a report presented to members of WDC's infrastructure, regeneration and economic development committee in September, when the budget for the building of the centre was approved, it's planned that the centre will be complete and operational by September of this year.