The future



Lennox Family
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The future

On this page:

bulletPreparing for the future
bulletProject Team
bulletRegeneration begins
bulletCeltic Football Club
bulletLennox Castle background and update
bulletHigh Church background and update
bulletPhysical Regeneration Framework and Action Plan. (Brief report)
bulletMobile Police Station
bulletNew Premises for Black Watch
bulletCampsie Pigeon Club
bulletCampsie Mountain Bike trail
bulletMorris update



Preparing for the future

 Order_of_progression.jpg (118646 bytes)      Map of progress 2001-2006


The decline of traditional industries such as Calico printing, mining, Alum Works and the Nail Works resulted in loss of employment over the years, causing a range of social, economic and environmental issues in the village.

This was compounded, when, in more recent times (2002), the village was dealt a major blow by the closure of  Lennox Castle Hospital, which, at its height had 800 employees. In a bid to confront the issue of the massive job losses and the inevitable economic depression, a task force funded by the East Dunbartonshire Council, Scottish Enterprise Dunbartonshire and Greater Glasgow Primary Care National Health Service (N.H.S) Trust was set up. This then resulted in the establishment of the Lennoxtown Initiative in 2001-2002.

Project Team and Analysis

Following this, a project team which comprised Land Use Consultants (LUC), and Small Town and Rural Development group (STAR), was appointed to work alongside Lennoxtown Initiative and the local community, to prepare a village design brief; a framework for the physical regeneration of Lennoxtown over the next 5-10 years. The team, led by LUC, was commissioned on June 21st 2005, and work was expected to be completed by late Autumn 2005.

The Project was afforded an opportunity to systematically analyze the weaknesses, strengths, and potential of the village, reflect the views, needs and priorities of the local community, and develop a framework to guide future developments.

From their analysis, they gleaned information about the physical and environmental characteristics and qualities of the village, by assessing architecture, road, footpaths, green spaces, and associated infrastructure. Road signs, and the nature and quality of village entrances or gateways were also assessed. Areas of historical interest, including the industrial history of the area were analyzed, as were recreational access, linkages to the Campsie Fells, Glazert Water and neighbouring villages.

This is not an exhaustive list! *

It was thought that this analysis and the views of the community, could provide a structural plan; a basis for development of the village.  Indeed, the remit of the Initiative, which was in part funded by the sale of the hospital land, was to regenerate the village; this regeneration presents a major challenge.


At the outset, the first task was to meet the client group with a view to exploring method and approach, and to discuss the aspirations of the client group. Afterwards, existing information was drawn from  other available sources, such as census data, Lennoxtown Initiative, East Dunbartonshire Council and/or Scottish Enterprise Dunbartonshire. They mapped existing retail, leisure and community facilities, for example, education, police, health etc., public transport provision, and village facilities, with the intention of identifying areas where services were deficient.

In the first round of meetings the group met with members of the community council, churches, playgroups, clubs, retailers and other businesses, schools, police, and the local councillor, and focused on collecting information about the village and residents expectations for future development. These meetings and consultations included face-to-face meetings, and small focus group discussions, each with a different remit.

Community workshops were undertaken to explore the results of the analysis and the draft framework, and everyone involved in the initial rounds of consultation was invited to attend. Following this, the group was able to define and prioritize strategies for Lennoxtown, and confirm priority actions and projects. These were then combined in a final report tailored to the needs of the Initiative and its partner organizations.


Regeneration begins

Over the last year signs of the physical regeneration of Lennoxtown have been apparent. In Station Road, the construction of the new business centre is well under way, and is due to be completed by the end of this March 2006. This development will have workshop units and a 2 storey pavilion.

This £1.8m investment, which is expected to provide much needed high quality business space in the village and encourage employers to offer new jobs, is a partnership between the Initiative, AWG, Strathclyde District Council (SDC), and Scottish Enterprise Dunbartonshire (SED).

Regarding the Lennox Castle Residential Development, the latest report from Lennoxtown Initiative states that it has been working with its private sector partner, Mactaggart and Mickel and the National Health Service (NHS), the owner of the site, in attempting to secure planning consent to build 76 houses on the lower level of the former Lennox Castle Hospital site. 

The planning application shows a mixed use for the site, with the lower site being residential and the upper site greenbelt compatible. Proposals for the detailed development of the first 10 acres, of the residential site, have been made public. This shows that the developers have favoured and indeed replicated the 'oval' theme of the original, existing housing plan. This phase will incorporate the 76 units mentioned previously; the planning application is 'pending'. 

It is anticipated that a total of between 300 and 350 dwellings will be developed, over five phases, with around 70 units being developed at each stage. Construction is expected to commence this year (2006) subject to approval of planning consent.

Update: On April 19th 2006, MacTaggart and Mickel were granted planning permission for the first phase of their proposed development of the former Lennox Castle Hospital grounds. The site, to be called Campsie View, will house 76 units in this initial stage. For further information see: Links, Mactaggart and Mickel.

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Celtic Football Club

On July 4th 2005, Glasgow Celtic Football Club announced that conditional missives have been agreed for 50 acres of the former hospital site, in order to build a sports academy and training facility.  A planning application, which was submitted on October 7th 2005, requested permission to build the training complex on the upper level of the former hospital site. This application has been granted,  subject to various conditions, and work is expected to commence this year (2006). This development is expected to include:

bullet3 natural grass full sized, UEFA -standard pitches, and 1 full sized artificial UEFA-standard pitch.
bulletIndoor training facilities, with gym and fitness, physiotherapy and medical suite.
bulletExtensive changing facilities, goal keeping training areas.
bulletClassroom/education, sports science/sports development facilities.
bulletAdministration offices and media facilities. 

The recent Calico Way housing development will eventually incorporate a total of 116 private units, with direct links to the centre of the village being constructed for pedestrians.

Other developmental proposals include two new cottage flats at Whitefield Terrace, and Lennox Homes - two apartment blocks with twelve 2-bedroomed units on Main Street.  Building of the apartment blocks is now nearing completion. Consent has also been granted for development of four detached houses on the site of the now derelict petrol station at the east end of the village.


Celtic News - Friday April 21st 2006

The following article was obtained from Glasgow Celtic Football Club website, and was written by Gregor Kyle.

Positive step for Lennoxtown

"Celtic Football Club have moved a step closer towards a new world class training facility in Lennoxtown, after receiving detailed planning permission for the proposed development.

The club announced plans for a new multi-million pound training facility and sports academy in July last year and have now (Wednesday, April 19) received detailed planning permission.

A Celtic spokesperson commented: “We received detailed planning permission last night for the Lennoxtown development. This is a significant step towards the realization of Lennoxtown as the new Training Facility for Celtic Football Club.  However, we still have to resolve several issues before we give the final go ahead.”

The proposed 50 acre site for the facility is situated in the grounds of the former Lennox Castle Hospital and news of the planning permission comes hot on the heels of Celtic’s treble of youth, reserve and SPL championship victories."

October 10th 2007

Today Celtic Football Club announced the official opening of its new state-of-the-art training centre in Lennoxtown. The Centre, which is the culmination of 2 years building, is located on a stunning 50-acre site, which formerly housed the upper section of Lennox-Castle Hospital. It boasts a wealth of first class facilities, and will also have both medical and sports science staff based on the premises.

Brian Quinn, the Celtic chairman said, “We are absolutely delighted to officially open our new Lennoxtown Training Centre today. This is a very important day for Celtic and one which heralds a new era for the club.”

  Gordon Strachan the Celtic Manager said, “The Centre enjoys a tremendous location and excellent facilities and I’m sure Celtic can only benefit from this move. It is a great day for the Club.”



Lennox-Castle background and update

On October 28th 1993, the Kirkintilloch Herald reported that Lennox Castle and grounds had been sold to a subsidiary of Clyde Building Group for conversion/development into 47 flats. 

Despite residential development being contrary to greenbelt policy, and opposition from local community leaders, plans for the conversion were submitted. This planning application was refused.

Two subsequent applications were also denied, and an appeal was eventually lodged against the refusal of planning permission. The appeal was successful,  but obliged the owners to carry out repairs on the unkempt and unmaintained building.

In August 1998, a repairs notice was served on the owners, but remains outstanding. The following month, Greater Glasgow Health Board asked the Scottish Office for approval to close the hospital by 2002. This request was contested by the 'Friends of the Lennox Castle' pressure group. 

The Scottish Civic Trust was informed the East Dunbartonshire Council was considering serving a dangerous Buildings notice.

By October 1998, remedial work was estimated at £17,000 - £25,000, and full stabilization at £240,000. Local planners indicated that Dunbartonshire Enterprise was prepared to contribute to a feasibility study of the castle.

On April 28th 1999, the Kirkintilloch Herald reported the castle had been placed on the 'Buildings at Risk' Bulletin. By November 2001, there was evidence that many of the interior [structures] had collapsed. The property was fenced off and a security guard was in attendance. 

The Kirkintilloch Herald again reported on June 5th 2002, that the castle was once more included in the Buildings at Risk register 2002-2003.

Historic Scotland reported in October 2003 that plans had been lodged for the conversion of the castle to flats.

A prospective new buyer has shown interest in the Castle, Woodhead House and the old Co-operative building on the Main Street. Negotiations are ongoing.


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High Church background and update

The High Church was devastated by fire in 1983. Immediately following this, an application for demolition was submitted, but permission was refused.

The building was inspected in July 1990 and revealed it as a roofless but stabilized building. Attempts by the District Council to prevent vandalism were unsuccessful, and the prospect of demolition loomed if funds for repairs were not forthcoming.

The Council were unable to trace the owner, so wrote to the Scottish Secretary to ensure preservation of the building's remains. Local councillors appealed to the Planning Committee for funds to prevent further deterioration, and Community Councils in the district were asked for their thoughts on the future of the church.

External inspection of the building in 1993, revealed clear evidence of structural distress. Sandstone blocks had been removed from the bottom of the west wall, causing destabilization. Historic Scotland visited the site, and a response from them was anticipated.

In 1994, Strathclyde Building Preservation Trust prepared a feasibility study into the preservation and stabilization of the church. This study was approved by the District Council and Scottish Building Preservation Trust assumed temporary ownership of the church with the intention of transferring it to the Council upon completion of any work. The district Council's Heritage Fund agreed in principle to a financial allocation towards the cost of the work, and other sources of finance were to be investigated. However, these plans suffered a setback in May 1995 when Historic Scotland rejected a grant aid application. The application was re-submitted.

Stabilization of the building was estimated at £161,000, and funding for it was secured from the European regional Development Fund. Plans to rebuild the church tower were put on hold in preference to the preservation of the existing building.

Some investigations into community use of the church as a museum or library were considered. Strathclyde Building Preservation trust and East Dunbartonshire Council continued to work on the project.

External inspection in February 2001 revealed the church remains at risk, and by February 2004, Glasgow Building Preservation trust was approached to conduct a feasibility study into re-use or consolidation as a ruin. 

The present owner of the church, has very kindly offered to return the building to the safe keeping of the community whenever finance for its restoration can be secured, and the reconstruction is complete. The primary consideration for the community would then be  major security to ensure that no further damage befalls this magnificent building. 

The local community have recently set up a Heritage Preservation Trust in order to restore the building. The initial aim of the trust will be to install floodlighting, access and power, and restore the clock and clock tower. In addition, the trust will investigate potential re-use for the building.

One proposal for new -use is as a practice area for climbers - within the church! 

Other buildings of interest to the Trust are Woodhead House (see Lennox Family), and the original Co-operative building in the Main Street opposite the new Co-op premises.

Physical Regeneration Framework and Action Plan

Amongst the items outlined by Land Use Consultants (LUC), and Small Town and Rural Development group (STAR), in their Action plan for Lennoxtown and the Clachan- of - Campsie was their acknowledgement of the unique potential of the area, and their recommendations for maximizing this. 

To capitalize on the setting they envisage a new Campsie Glen Country Park - a local Nature Reserve, and Lennoxtown as a services centre for outdoor pursuits and leisure activities. 

It is anticipated that Lennoxtown will invigorate itself around a new focal centre, namely a new Public Square, and a multi-purpose Community Centre - a place developed by the community for the community. This Community facility may include developments such as; clinic, library, police station, pharmacy and Council Offices. 

To put the heart back into Lennoxtown, the Main Street, particularly the area around Station Road and the Town Hall will be re-vitalized. The district will have clear, welcoming approaches, hopefully reflecting the sense of community ownership. Shortfalls in leisure and sports facilities, such as bowling, golf and football, will also be addressed, as will childcare provision.

Delivery of environmental improvements is dependent on funds being generated from the Sale of the former Lennox Castle Hospital grounds. It is expected that the N.H.S will re-invest some of that money into the village. Without it, none of the above objectives can be achieved. 

Below is a copy of the statement issued by the Scottish Executive:-

March 28, 2003

Scottish Executive give green light to "Legacy for Lennoxtown"

"The Scottish Executive has given the green light to a £3.5 million 'legacy for Lennoxtown' from the sale of land at the former Lennox Castle Hospital.

In a letter to the Great Glasgow Primary Care NHS Division, Finance Minister Andy Kerr and Health Minister Malcolm Chisholm endorsed the Division's decision to reinvest cash raised from the sale of land at the Lennox Castle site in projects developed by the community-led Lennoxtown Initiative.

The money will be matched by funds from Scottish Enterprise Dunbartonshire and East Dunbartonshire Council and will allow large-scale regeneration projects to go ahead in the village.

Although the Lennoxtown Initiative was launched last May (2002),  it has taken until now (2003) to get the all clear for cash from the sale of hospital land to be reinvested in the community. In the intervening months a wide-ranging community consultation exercise has been going on and an action plan is being developed."

Over the following 5 years, the Initiative expected to generate approximately 250 jobs, with another 150 projected from the £3.5 million (statement from press says £40) re-development of the former Lennox-Castle Hospital site and additional construction opportunities. It hopes to safeguard a further 70 jobs, and 850 local residents are expected to participate in learning and development programmes.


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Mobile Police Station (MPS)

A new Mobile Police Station or 'Bobby Bus' was introduced to Lennoxtown in March. 

 This state-of -the-art vehicle is for use by all rural areas, and not especially for Lennoxtown.  It will be staffed by community police officers and used to service the villages of Milton-of-Campsie, Twechar, Torrance, and surrounding areas - as well as Lennoxtown! The vehicle will be based at Kirkintilloch Police Station, but Superintendent Andy Bates was quoted in the Kirkintilloch Herald, March 29th 2006, as saying that, " Police officers will use the vehicle to provide a base for contact with communities on a regular and planned basis, to suit the needs of local people."

This new service will allow villagers to raise local issues whilst at the same time provide additional services such as prevention of crime advice, discussion of concerns, and passing on and receiving information of interest. Locals should be able to meet duty policemen; which will, hopefully, provide reassurance and assist in the reduction of fear of crime.

The Lennoxtown MPS  induction ceremony took place in Chapel Street on March 21st, 2006. Mr. John Dempsey  and Mr.  Charles Kennedy were in attendance. Picture below.

Mobile Police Station, 21st March 2006.jpg (118777 bytes)           


 New Premises for Black Watch Football Team

The Station Road cottages, which for many years served as the dressing rooms for Campsie Black Watch, were demolished in December 2005, and have now been replaced by state-of-the-art portakabins. It is hoped that the portakabins which are sited next to the Black Watch football pitch in the Field Park, will be a permanent fixture.

An assistant/ associate of the team, Mr. John Mann was extremely enthusiastic about the move to the new premises, and took great pride in showing them to visitors on March 21st 2006. He was very positive and generous in his praise of Mr. Marley and the team.

It seems unfortunate that the unique cottages were demolished so hastily, since they had  a history dating back to the 1700's, and as football dressing rooms had been used by some very prestigious players and teams. They could perhaps have served as a little museum to the village or the football club, but it may be that they stood in the way of progress. These are questions which will need to be asked of the planners!

Campsie Black Watch is one of - if not the most successful Juvenile Teams ever, but we in Lennoxtown began to take the success for granted and became a little complacent over the years. However, villagers rallied to support Mr. Marley in his recent attempts for better accommodation, and it goes without saying, that all wish him, his players and assistants the very best of luck in the new accommodation.


Black Watch new changing unit, March 2006.jpg (94633 bytes)                                                     Old cottages station road Dec 05.jpg (144277 bytes)  

New changing facilities                                             Old changing facilities


Campsie Pigeon Club

 Campsie Racing Pigeon Club have been granted planning permission for temporary club facilities adjoining the temporary sports changing rooms for Campsie Black Watch Football Club. The site is adjacent to Campsie Black Watch football ground


Mountain Bike Trail

Its would appear that Lennoxtown is now becoming a popular destination for mountain bike riders. One young man, Neil form Glasgow, has a Web site on which he talks about Lennoxtown forest, (along the back road to the Castle, and behind the Oval houses) as having an "Awesome natural singletrack, unbelievable northshore (not for me), and a whole heap of mud. For anyone based in the Glasgow area with a passion for natural singletrack, get up to Lennoxtown as soon as you can. Hardly a rider in sight and a fantastic network of trails. Just explore and you will love it." 

He adds, "Have fun and get on your bike - nothing better."

Can the environment withstand this type of activity, without causing too much damage? Should we be encouraging others to join Neil, or should we discourage them? 

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Morris update

Having previously described Morris as possessing the 'Midas touch' (see History Morris Furniture) seemed uncannily prophetic, when  'The Mail on Sunday', April 23rd 2006, announced Mr. Robert Morris was about to become richer by £35.66m.

Initially he was told he could expect £15million in compensation for moving his Glasgow Headquarters to make way for the M74 extension. However, following a controversial 'unrecorded' meeting with the First Minister, Jack McConnell, the Scottish Executive more than doubled the offer to £35.66m.

The meeting with Mr. Morris and the First Minister, was described as an 'informal discussion', but Mr. McConnell's role in the huge compensation award, revealed in letters released under the Freedom of Information Act, will now come under intense scrutiny, with politicians demanding explanations.

Mr. Morris had been in contact with the First Minister since 2003, claiming the compensation offered was £25 million short, and he applied pressure on Mr. McConnell in September 2004 by writing,  "Unless an immediate and early conclusion of our discussions can be achieved, the consequences of your Executive's inaction over the last 18 months will be catastrophic for this business"

 If a satisfactory solution had not been reached, and the company had re-located to England or had closed down, Mr. McConnell's  political reputation would no doubt have been damaged. But he isn't out of the woods yet, now we need to wait to see if he can withstand the public scrutiny, offer acceptable explanations and escape unscathed from this affair



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