Gym­nas­tics club homes in on Ac­tiv­ity Cen­tre

Ayrshire Post - - Troon News -

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

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