The struggle to establish a community resource centre in Monifieth could bear fruit within a year after the campaign cleared a major hurdle.
Angus Council has recently given the first approval to Monifieth Community Resource Group’s bid to have the former Invertay Primary School turned over to community ownership with the aim of transforming it into a fit-for-purpose community hub.
Jean Lee, chair of Monifieth Community Resource Group told the Gazette: “As far as we are aware Angus Council are still on target to move all staff and services out by December 2016.
“The transfer process could be completed in months and with some funding already in place it is possible that internal work could begin within six months after transfer and groups given access to some areas soon after.
“It also has to be said that I’m an optimist.
“And I do know that council business sometimes takes longer than you might think - especially when legal issues are involved.
“But we’re keen to keep things moving.”
The group behind a campaign to found a community resource centre in Monifieth is delighted by Angus Council’s first stage approval of the project.
Monifieth Community Resource Group’s (MCRG) Stage One application for a Community Asset Transfer for the former Invertay Primary School has been approved by the local authority.
MCRG chair Jean Lee was delighted with the news which has proved a game changer for the group’s plans. She told the Gazette: “We had been planning for a new build when we found out that Invertay House as it’s presently named would be surplus to Angus Council requirements at the end of this year.
“The old school building is well loved by the people of Monifieth and its location at the end of the High Street meant that it was always going to be first choice for a community resource – but it wasn’t available until now.
“Our original plans were shelved whilst we investigated the potential of the school and it is absolutely fantastic. We’ll be able to provide services that are currently not available locally and there will be space for lots of groups to meet socially and functionally for leisure and business. And keep the building for community use instead of being converted into flats or sitting rotting waiting for a buyer as often happens to big old buildings. It will be community owned and run.”
According to Jean the project has generated a lot of interest locally and it is hoped that some of this can be harnessed to help push the project forward as quickly as possible.
She said: “Since we started talking about this option lots of local interested parties have come forward with ideas and plans for cooperative and community use of the space.
“During the recent Talk Monifieth Charrette exercise our project took prominence as the major priority for the town.
“Of course there’s lots more work to be done before we can submit a Stage 2 application which will demand lots of facts and figures but we’ve got a great team and I reckon the whole of Monifieth will be behind us every step of the way.”