Two Community Asset Transfers and the Lease of the Loreburn Hall Get Go-Ahead at FPT Committee

Tuesday, 20 June 2023 14:42

Elected members gave two Community Asset Transfers (CATs) and the lease of the Loreburn Hall the green light to progress at today’s (Tuesday 20 June) meeting of the Finance, Procurement and Transformation Committee.

Community Asset Transfers allow community groups and organisations to take over a current or surplus Council asset/property, under the Community Empowerment Act, 2015.

The Council has a CAT Strategy in place and many communities have benefitted from utilising the CAT process since the strategy was introduced nearly six years ago. In total, the number of CATs across Dumfries and Galloway have reached around 60.

The former Carlingwark Outdoor Centre was first CAT on the agenda, with members agreeing the application from the Castle Douglas Development Forum.

The site, which lies next to the caravan park in the town of Castle Douglas, has not been in use for some years. Councillors were presented with three options in the committee report, and agreed to Option 3, which agrees a 25-year lease for £50 per month subject to various conditions.

The second CAT agreed was for the former primary school in Langholm. The Langholm Alliance presented a strong case to Elected Members to take lease of the old school site on Thomas Telford Road in the town. Members debated the options placed in front of them and agreed to Option 1, which now means that Langholm Old School will be transferred to Langholm Alliance without conditions.

Separate to the Community Asset Transfers, the lease of the Loreburn Hall was discussed. The discussion follows a public consultation earlier this year, which sought the views of the public and stakeholders before a competitive bidding process took place for the iconic building in Newall Terrace in Dumfries.

Members debated the two options presented to them, The Drill Hall Initiative and The Electric Theatre Company, with members opting for The Drill Hall Initiative. The organisation will take lease of the building, subject to agreement on the terms and conditions.

Chair of the Finance, Procurement and Transformation Committee, Cllr Ivor Hyslop said: “For the last six years this Council has had a robust community asset transfer strategy process in place and today’s agreed reports are a real sign of how effective this strategy and the process is. The region-wide spread of assets is also a positive, as residents and community groups across Dumfries and Galloway will benefit in the short, medium and long-term.”

Vice-Chair, Cllr Richard Marsh commented: “I’m delighted the committee has agreed to progress these two transfers and the lease of the Loreburn Hall today. Our Council is committed to empowering communities and in agreeing these asset transfers, we are doing just that. The committee recognised the strong nature of the two business cases and we wish the community groups well over the upcoming months and years ahead.”