Public meeting will consider future of town’s YM

Broughty Ferry YMCA, Brook Street Broughty Ferry.
Broughty Ferry YMCA, Brook Street Broughty Ferry.

BROUGHTY Ferry YMCA, 151 Brook Street, which has been active in the town since 1866, is to ask local groups and individuals what they expect from the organisation in the future.

A public meeting will be held at the YMCA on Thursday, January 20, at 7 p.m. and letters of invitation have been widely distributed in the community.

The letter, from the YMCA board of management, states: “We were founded in 1866 and have been present in Broughty Ferry ever since. Very few residents have not had a connection with the YM in some way or another.”

The letter revealed that in the summer gas central heating was installed in the premises. The board adds that they hope to redecorate some of the rooms early next year.

The letter goes on: “However the board members are conscious of the fact that we are in a ‘Catch 22’ situation, where we have a small but devoted group of volunteers who try to attract groups of varying ages to the premises.

“We face the dilemma of having to make it more attractive to them without the external funding to do so.

“As a board, we know that without any disasters in the meantime we could probably continue as we are for another two or three years. However, rather than die a long, slow, lingering death we are looking towards life support now!”

The board is asking: does Broughty Ferry need a YMCA in its current form? Does it need a YM in a different form? Or does it not need a YM at all?

Sandro Paladini, a committee member of Broughty Ferry Traders’ Association, told the Guide & Gazette: “As a past president of Broughty Ferry Traders’ Association, I see great benefit to the town by maintaining centrally located halls.

“The YMCA provides a facility which is accessible to the community and serves the needs of the many local groups and individuals who require a convenient meeting place or hub.

“Without the YMCA building situated in the heart of Broughty Ferry, and the team of volunteer staff who run it, other Broughty Ferry organisations are likely to find it very difficult to access suitable alternative venues to meet their needs. It is conceivable that without central halls these organisations might themselves struggle to maintain their effectiveness and their attachment to the community.

“For nearly 150 years Broughty Ferry YMCA has provided a focal point and regular meeting place for numerous bodies such as art and dance classes, society meetings, craft fairs, coffee mornings and much more. Many of these events have been, and continue to be important to the community of Broughty Ferry and local charitable causes.”

Mr Paladini concluded: “The Broughty Ferry Traders’ Association use the YMCA building for their own annual general meeting, and I very much hope that all other local organisations and individuals, will consider using this excellent facility, or reaffirming their commitment to using it more.”

Ferry councillor Derek Scott says he appreciates that the YMCA has been an integral part of the local community long before Broughty Ferry was even annexed to Dundee.

He continued: “It has hosted countless events and with limited hall space available in the area it still has an important role to play.

“I am aware that there have previously been discussions with Dundee City Council’s leisure and communities department about the possibility of developing the existing youth space at the YM and the funding streams that might be available to do this.

“I will be seeking an update from the relevant council officer and will also find out what assistance the council might be able to provide.”

He concluded: “I hope to be able to attend the public meeting on January 20 and will do what I can to support the association going forward.”