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Alexandria Town Centre Masterplan - West Dunbartonshire Council

Bringing positive change to Alexandria

Alexandria, nestled within the West Dunbartonshire Council Area, has a rich history dating back to the 1800s, characterised by its Victorian heritage and once-thriving cotton manufacturing industry. However, over the past decade, Alexandria has grappled with challenges such as declining retail, deteriorating public spaces, and a changing demographic landscape. In response to these challenges, a collaborative effort was initiated to revitalise Alexandria’s town centre, focusing on fostering growth in town centre living while preserving its historical heritage.

Recognising the need for concerted action, stakeholders came together to develop a comprehensive strategy for revitalising Alexandria’s town centre. Early engagement with the community was identified as a cornerstone of the project, essential for garnering support for demolishing old housing stock and gaining buy-in for new developments. The involvement of residents in early design discussions ensured that the proposed changes aligned with the community’s aspirations.

Spearheaded by Willie Miller Urban Planning in 2021, the Master Plan drew upon input from various consultants, architects, landscapers, and surveyors, ensuring a holistic approach to town centre living. The plan aimed to integrate the strategic objectives of the Local Development Plan with the community’s vision for Alexandria’ss future.

Key insights:
  • Involving residents in decision-making fosters a sense of ownership and ensures that redevelopment efforts meet their needs.
  • Developing a Master Plan requires significant resources in terms of time, staff input, and costs.
  • Despite challenges in participation, the creation of a digital community platform has facilitated ongoing communication and engagement.
  • Infrastructure and non-residential amenities play a vital role in attracting residents and visitors to the town centre.
  • The importance of preserving historical landmarks, such as the Smollet Fountain, which invaluably adds to the town’s cultural identity and appeal.
  • Compulsory purchase, masterplan consent, and Special Planning Zones (SPZ) can streamline the redevelopment process and facilitate large-scale transformation.

Through collaborative efforts and strategic planning, Alexandria’s town centre is undergoing a notable transformation. The regeneration project not only seeks to address immediate challenges but also aims to create a vibrant, sustainable urban environment for generations to come. By learning from the experiences of Alexandria, other communities in Scotland and beyond can gain valuable insights into fostering growth and vitality in their own town centres, ensuring a sustainable future.

Find out more here.