Cottages should not be left to go to ruin

The steel frame of the new Cumbernauld Academy, which will also house the theatre, has been completed
The steel frame of the new Cumbernauld Academy, which will also house the theatre, has been completed

A public meeting will take place tonight (Wednesday) to discuss the future of the current Cumbernauld Theatre building as work continues on its new home.

The meeting at 8pm has been called by Friends of the Theatre Cottages who want to avoid a scenario where the historic buildings are left abandoned, as they were prior to the theatre being founded in 1960.

Some possibilities for the future of the theatre buildings are: a commercial concern buys the property from North Lanarkshire Council, an organisation leases the building from the council to use as a public platform, the council agrees an asset transfer for the bulding to be run as a community hub, or the the cottage and extensions are mothballed and fenced off with the risk of becoming dilapadated.

A spokesperson for Friends of the Theatre Cottages said: “The council currently has no plans for the building, which will become ‘surplus to requirements’ when the theatre relocates to the Academy campus.

“To look at what potential there is for retaining the building in public use, we need an open discussion involving those interested in the fate of the cottages.”

The meeting takes place in the current theatre building. A council official and theatre representative shall be in attendance and all are welcome.

Cumbernauld and Kilsyth MSP Jamie Hepburn said: “The new theatre creates an exciting new chapter for the community, but the current cottage buildings are also much loved, and it’s important to try and establish how the community can continue to benefit by them.”

Meanwhile, the steel frame for the £37m Cumbernauld Academy and Cumbernauld Theatre campus being built by Morrison Construction has been completed outlining the size of the facility.

Project manager Mark Stirling said: “We are extremely happy with the progress that is being made on site, there was a 14-week programme to erect the steel work, which we finished on time.

“Work on site has now progressed onto pouring the concrete floor slabs before the roofing and external walls are completed in the coming months.

“We have a great working relationship with the school with staff and pupils at Cumbernauld Academy very interested in our work on site.

“An S6 pupil has been completing work experience in administration at our site offices since August and we have been active members of the school community attending many events.”

Once complete the new campus will have capacity for 1250 secondary pupils and a 300-seat theatre, while the current buildings at the school will be demolished to make way for external sports facilities.