06 June
Mural at the Low Port Centre

Council planners are recommending that Historic Environment Scotland's (HES) proposals to list the building containing the mural are supported by Council Executive at their meeting on Tuesday 11 June 2024.

HES have advised the council that they are minded to Category B list the Low Port Centre, as it meets their criteria for 'buildings of special architectural or historic interest, which are major examples of a particular period, style or type'.

The Low Port centre was opened by Lothian Region Council in 1988 as a community
outdoor education centre with residential facilities. The award-winning design of the building by distinguished post-war architectural practice Wheeler and Sproson aimed to mix art and architecture, with a bespoke public mural as a key part of the central stairwell.

Scottish artist James Cumming, who was regarded as one of the most talented and original artists
practising in Scotland in the 20th century, was commissioned to produce the mural. His creation, The Community: A Festival of Time, depicts a theme of timeless community life within a colourful town setting.

Low Port Centre was operated by both West Lothian Council and West Lothian Leisure after local government reorganisation in 1996.  It is currently leased to St John's Church Linlithgow (SJCL) for a range of church and community-focused activities, after it was no longer required for the delivery of council services.  

SJCL have created and registered an independent charity to oversee and manage activities, and have
the option to acquire outright ownership of the centre under a community asset transfer when the lease expires in January 2026.

The charity is required to use 'all reasonable endeavours' to retain and take steps to suitably protect the mural at all times during the two-year lease period, and for as long as they own, or occupy, the Low Port Centre. 

The council will also include a conservation burden in any future conditions of sale that requires the mural to be protected by the building's future owners.