Call to demolish East Renfrewshire Council HQ to make way for leisure hub

The council is currently consulting on the future of leisure facilities.
The council is currently consulting on the future of leisure facilities.

East Renfrewshire’s council headquarters should be demolished to make way for a new leisure hub.

That was the claim by Independent councillor David Macdonald as he laid out his vision for the future of Eastwood Leisure Centre.

Council chiefs are currently consulting with the public over whether to refurbish the existing facility or create a new centre at a cost of more than £27 million.

Mr Macdonald believes he has found a cheaper solution despite failing to give a cost analysis.

He said: “I firmly believe this plan to be the best option for creating a first-class leisure facility within Eastwood at the existing location while minimising disruption during the building of the new facility.”

Mr Macdonald said the council chamber, committee rooms, Provost’s and Leader’s offices could be moved to Eastwood House.

Council staff could be moved to offices in Barrhead Main Street. A new car park would be built alongside the leisure centre – taking away half of the current parking ground at council HQ.

He also put forward plans to temporarily relocate the existing gym facilities at Eastwood Leisure Centre to Overlee Pavillion. A new pay and display car park would be designated in the grounds adjacent to Overlee Park.

And the councillor said Eastwood Park Theatre would be kept intact while lowering fees charged to drama groups.

An East Renfrewshire Council spokesman said: “The suggestion being put forward by Councillor Macdonald includes an 8000m2 new-build facility but he also suggests creating two new multi-storey car parks, introducing parking meters, upgrading Overlee Pavilion as a short-term measure and demolishing the current council HQ.

“This proposal would present significant additional costs on top of the £25-30m required to build a new leisure centre.”