Big plans to breathe new life into stun­ning land­mark cas­tle

Lennox Herald - - NEWS - Lor­raine Weir

Dream plans for Bal­loch Cas­tle in­volve turn­ing the his­toric build­ing into a bou­tique ho­tel or a wed­ding venue.

These were sug­ges­tions made by mem­bers of the public who at­tended the con­sul­ta­tion event last week in or­der to build a fu­ture for the site.

Around 40 mem­bers of the public turned up to speak with mem­bers of staff from both West Dun­bar­ton­shire Coun­cil and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs Na­tional Park.

Other sug­ges­tions made in­clude trans­form­ing the cas­tle, sit­u­ated within Bal­loch Park, into a her­itage cen­tre, an arts or ex­hi­bi­tion space, an eaterie or a cen­tre fo­cused on out­door ac­tiv­i­ties.

A West Dun­bar­ton­shire Coun­cil spokesman said: “Se­cur­ing a vi­able use for Bal­loch Cas­tle was one of the key pri­or­i­ties iden­ti­fied by the com­mu­nity dur­ing the 2016‘Live in Bal­loch’ process. The coun­cil has re­cently ap­pointed a team of ar­chi­tects and econ­o­mists to in­ves­ti­gate new uses and pre­pare a fea­si­bil­ity study for this im­por­tant his­toric build­ing.

“Res­i­dents are clearly very in­ter­ested in the fu­ture use of Bal­loch Cas­tle and it was a very worth­while ex­er­cise to hold this event and to hear their views. The ideas put for­ward pro­vide se­ri­ous food for thought and we now look for­ward to hear­ing back from the ex­perts we have com­mis­sioned to eval­u­ate each of the ideas.

“We will keep the public in­formed at ev­ery stage of the process and would like to thank them for their in­put.” A spe­cial­ist team of ar­chi­tects and econ­o­mists com­mis­sioned by the coun­cil will now ex­am­ine each of the ideas put for­ward to work out how vi­able the sug­ges­tions are.

This in­for­ma­tion will then be fed back to the au­thor­ity to de­cide on the best way for­ward for the cas­tle.

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