Dancers set to take over old bank building

Bank plan has been approved.
Bank plan has been approved.

Plans to convert an empty former bank in Bothwell’s Main Street into a dance studio for children have been approved.

Clydesdale Bank closed its branch in the village last year, leaving just a cash machine, and the building was put on the market.

Now proposals to breathe new life into it have been given the go-ahead by South Lanarkshire Council.

The applicant, Louise McHendrie, explained that demand for dance tuition is growing. Her organisation currently has a limited number of classes running in a commmunity hall and having dedicated premises would enable her to offer a wider variety.

It’s intended to have classes running six days a week, Monday to Saturday, in the afternoons and evenings. Ms McHendrie plans to offer ballet, Highland dancing, streetdancing, cheerleading and more.

The bank lies within Bothwell Conservation Area, but the council said only minor alterations to the outside of the traditional sandstone building are proposed and there have been no objections.

A planning report stated: “It is considered that the scale and design of the proposed external alterations respect the established character and appearance of the existing building and the Conservation Area in general.”

One villager said: “No one wants to see a prominent building lying empty and this is something different.”