The Locarno Works regeneration project could kick-start a complete transformation of Dundee’s West End industrial area.
That’s according to consultant Neil Reid, who wants to redevelop the former weaving mill into a “social and cultural space” – with retail, food and drink outlets, along with student accommodation.
The proposed plans, which were submitted to Dundee City Council earlier this year, form part of the city council’s Blackness Business Place Plan, which aims to stimulate development by introducing further, complementary, land uses.
Speaking in an online public exhibition, Neil said: “It will help regenerate the Blackness area because one of the things missing is people working, living and relaxing within it.
“The place has suffered as an industrial location in the past, with no future prospect of change, until the council changed policy last year with the new local plan. They now wish to encourage this sort of activity.
“The wider Blackness Business Place Plan is a guide to developers to attract similar types of approach, for example not be restricted to uses in the area such as office, warehouse, or general industry.”
Neil believes the area has already seen positive change in recent years but hopes the Locarno Works development will be just one of many projects planned for the area.
“In my view, the regeneration had probably begun, but stagnated,” he said.
“There are existing examples such as the Verdant Works, the Wasps workshop for artists and a mosque.
“It’s a progressive policy that may well boost regeneration. Our proposal is one example and there are likely to be others of similar approach looking forward as a result.”
Included in the plans are proposals to demolish the single-storey industrial building, which faces Brown Street, Lochee Road and Dudhope Roundabout, and replace it with a new building with a central courtyard.
But the developers are keen to ensure the social history of the area is not lost and plan to retain and refurbish the existing two-storey red brick building and chimney facing Douglas Street.
Neil added: “There will be a cost to the owner/developer to keep that building in good shape so the investment is not just in jobs and vibrancy, but also in retaining past industrial heritage for the City.”