The former Lanark Job Centre, Argyle House, is to be converted into a 44-bedroom hotel if the scheme by an English-based businessman gets the thumbs-up from South Lanarkshire Council.
Doubts had been hanging over the building since the stark, early-1970s ‘Buroo’ building was itself left unemployed in 2017 with Job Centre services moving to South Lanarkshire Council’s Lanark headquarters in South Vennel.
The Gazette understands that there had been plans for the building to be demolished to provide room for a new train/bus travel ‘hub’ which would replace another unpopular Seventies addition to the townscape, the Stance.
Built on the site of Lanark’s St Leonard’s Church, itself demolished in the late Sixties, many in town wanted Argyle House to follow it into history on aesthetic grounds alone. In a poll taken by the Gazette several years ago, readers voted it the Royal Burgh’s ugliest building.
However, its unexpected purchase by unnamed businessmen is thought to have stymied the new stance/station plan.
After lying empty for some time, there is now an application for planning permission to convert the building into a 44-bedroom hotel. Ironically, the nearby former Royal Oak Hotel is now earmarked for demolition.
The application lodged with council officials includes “filling in” the open car park area under the rear of Argyle House as part of the proposed conversion plans for the building.
The applicant is detailed as Bob Kullar of Leicester and his agents are Navnit A&N Architects of Wembley, London.