Centre group will follow new strategy

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A RADICAL new strategy for the provision of a community facility in the centre of Carnoustie will be revealed to members and ‘friends’ of the Kinloch Centre Project (KCP) at the annual general meeting next month.

Chairman Peter Murphy, in an exclusive interview with the Guide & Gazette, revealed that the plans will be scaled down as the initial proposals were overly ambitious.

He explained: “The project has decided to get an extension to the timeframe set by Angus Council so that we will be able to put a more realistic business plan into shape. The move will permit us to get the financial help that the council initially promised us in 2011 in parallel with a new community facility in Monifieth.

“The offer to the project was made up of two amounts - ground at the former Kinloch Primary School site which was valued at £160,000 and a cash donation of £140,000 for a total of £300,000, the equivalent deal as was offered to Monifieth.

“The cash aspect of the offer was to go towards acquiring the necessary proportion of the money required for getting a Lottery grant.”

He went on: “At a meeting in December we realised that we could not meet the deadline to apply for the Lottery money. This is in part due to the situation in Carnoustie where there is not social deprivation to the same degree as other areas, which would mean different criteria would be applied to the Lottery grant application.

“We decided to delay the project for one year and will relaunch in September with the assistance of our partners, Nicoll Russell architects, Broughty Ferry.”

Mr Murphy said that it was likely that the group would start with a more modest facility than that which had been put forward in the first instance.

He explained: “The full community centre which had been planned initially included space for various community groups, playgroups, older people, clubs etc., and this is probably not attainable right away.

“What we propose is to start with a less ambitious project and add to it later as we go along.”

However, he was very positive about the eventual outcome of the facility. He stated: “All we have done is changed the pace of the development.”

He revealed that Kinloch Centre Project had signed up 500 people as ‘Friends’, many of whom help with fund-raising.

Local charitable trusts will also be targeted once the new business plan has been finalised as KCP plan to boost their fund-raising efforts.

And Mr Murphy has visited Carnoustie High School on several occasions to talk to pupils about the centre project and try to recruit them to take part in the fund-raising activities.

Mr Murphy said that there was also outside space, referred to as a ‘community space’ which would provide a venue for a farmers’ market, Christmas tree, etc. He said that the site has not yet been cleared by Angus Council, which has promised to do the work in the near future.

He stressed that the original railings from the old school had been retained and they would provide an attractive feature in this area.

In closing, Mr Murphy said he believed that a community facility on the former Kinloch School site, right in the centre of the town, would give Carnoustie a heart.

He said times were hard and there was not a great deal of available money about but is optimistic that the Kinloch Centre Project will achieve its aim.

He concluded: “I am enthusiastic about the project and assured about it being achieved as are all the other members of the group.”

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