Group to secure meeting place

ANGUS Council is to negotiate a lease with the Monifieth Community Centre Steering Group (MCCSG) for a temporary meeting place on the Invertay House site.

The group has been left without anywhere to hold their monthly meetings after they were told they could no longer use the Burgh Chambers due to health and safety regulations.

They approached the local authority requesting the use of a temporary building next to Invertay House as a venue for their meetings.

And on Tuesday, the council’s corporate services committee agreed to make the lease exempt from normal financial regulations and draw up an agreement to lease the building to the group.

Rules state that council buildings put up for lease must be advertised publicly first to try and achieve maximum rental income, but in this case members agreed to by-pass this regulation to allow the group to start to use the building as soon as possible.

Currently, the facility has been deemed surplus to requirements and was about to be demolished, but this was put on hold after the steering group expressed their interest in the building.

Director of corporate services Colin McMahon said: “It has been declared surplus to the council’s requirements and internal stripping of light fittings, storage heaters etc., had commenced as part of the intended demolition of the surplus property but this work was put on hold following the MCCSG interest.

“The building has for a number of years been utilised solely for file storage purposes and only essential wind and watertight maintenance was applied.

“It is in need of a reasonable level of investment to bring it up to habitable standard and MCCSG have been provided access to the building to allow them to determine the work required and the estimated cost.”

A lease for the temporary building could start as soon as January 1 and the outcome of the lease arrangements will be reported back to the corporate services committee in the new year.

It is thought a lease would last up until March 2013, as that is the deadline the MCCSG have been given to confirm that funding is in place to deliver a community centre in town.

Last month, the steering group chose the Invertay site as their preferred location for a new centre and £300,000 worth of funding from Angus Council for facility has already been secured.

Mr McMahon added: “It was agreed that MCCSG be permitted up to March 31 2013 to confirm the deliverability of a community facility on one of the three sites including full planning consent and a full funding package for both the construction and running costs being in place.

“It is intended that any lease period offered will, in line with this, be up to March 31 2013.”