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New role proposed for St David House

A community asset transfer request for three properties in Bathgate, St David House, the retail unit below and the former Café site next to the retail unit, is set to be decided.

16 April
St David House

Council officers are recommending that the Community Asset Transfer Committee approve plans to transfer these properties in Bathgate to Sarajia Islamic Studies and Community Centre Limited (SISCCL) at their meeting on Monday 22 April.

If approved, SISCCL plan to relocate the current Bathgate Mosque in nearby Whitburn Road to the larger premises at St David House, which has been vacant since October 2023. 

Their proposals would also see the creation of a community centre, a gym, studio spaces and retail units, including a café to help address the needs of the wider community and which will provide employment, training and income to sustain their charitable objectives.  

Community Asset Transfer involves the transfer of a property asset from the Council to a voluntary or community organisation, and this request has been assessed as meeting all the criteria for a valid request. 

No other valid asset transfers requests were received by the deadline, and none of the commercial bids matched the District Valuer's assessment of the combined market value of £875,000.

SISCCL have increased their bid to £600,000 and their business plan also sets out the significant non-financial community benefits of their proposed project would deliver to the West Lothian community. 

The combined value of the monetary offer and community benefits, as set out in their business plan and delivered by an existing well-run community organisation that has been operating for over 30 years in Bathgate, represents best value for the council. The recommendation to approve the community asset transfer is based on it being considered to represent the best available option for the use of the properties

West Lothian Council uses the proceeds from the sale of unused properties to help to fund future investment in infrastructure projects, such as schools, parks, roads and care services for vulnerable people. 

The sale of unused assets is therefore an important funding stream that allows us to continue to invest in other services. Without that funding, less money would be available to improve local services in future.