Gymnastics club homes in on Activity Centre
Secret talks have taken place in a bid to seize control of Muirhead Activity Centre, writes Stephen Houston. The community and councillors were kept in the dark as South Ayrshire Council officials met quietly with Dundonald Gymnastics Club.
The club is bidding to take over the popular centre from the Council and has already been inside assessing a new special sprung floor.
The formal bid consultation process is about to begin, but the Muirhead Residents and Tenants Association, has been told it is a “done deal.”
At a hastily convened and fiery meeting at the centre on Friday night, they had a simple message . . . NO.
Chairman Frances Carson said: “We are being quite blunt about this.
“The message is NO and we want South Ayrshire Council to keep running it as they do now.
“If the Council have pulled a fly one on us, they will never hear the end of it from this community.”
The decade old Dundonald Gymnastics Club runs from Dundonald Activity Centre but has reached bursting point.
Muirhead was up for the chop but survived last year’s South Ayrshire Council cuts.
Any hiving off the books in a “community asset transfer” would save the council about £ 18,000 a year which is seen as marginal.
The council will have six months from now to rule on the application.
Muirhead - which also boasts a squash court - is used by a wide variety of groups, from metafit and indoor football to Troon Good Companions.
District Councillor Bob Pollock said there are concerns about a shift out of local authority control and the issue was raised at last Tuesday’s Troon Community Council meeting.
Councillor Pollock said: “There is a legal responsibility for the Council to consider any asset transfer application and there is an assessment procedure to be followed. I would certainly be supporting public opinion, but it may
actually be in the community’s interest to have it transferred as the Council has several times considered closing it.”
Under new ownership there would be no football or any sports hires of the main hall and no squash will be played.
A spokesman for South Ayrshire Council said: “We’re committed to working with communities to deliver the best use of local assets. We will ensure communities have the support and information they need to take control of identified land and buildings and make the best use of them for local needs.”
Takeover target Muirhead Activity Centre