Community hall deserves support
Sir, Most communities in Scotland have community centres - bigger towns, bigger centres, and villages have village halls. The general view is that they should be self-supporting.
Over the past number of years Ardgour Memorial Hall has gone from the dismal picture of perhaps having to close, to the present day when the hall has been completely renovated, except for the provision of new toilets.
Despite the hard work of the committee, £10,000 to £15,000 is still required to complete the renovation. It is just a pittance really when you think of its neighbours eight miles away, the Nevis Centre in Fort William.
There was some wringing of hands when the Highland Council’s committee (ECAS) decided funding would be slashed from £166,000 to just £91,000 for the year 2017-18. The council has been subsidising the Nevis Centre to the sum of £166,000 per annum.
But there is more: the Highland Council has agreed that £250,000 be used for urgent repairs to the roof of the building. The chairperson of Linnh Leisure, which operates the centre, states: ‘The building is more than 20 years old and at the end of its useful life.’
The Ardgour Memorial Hall committee has ensured the hall has been self-sufficient year after year and it was successful in raising the money required to renovate the hall, falling short by just £10,000 to £15,000.
Surely when the Highland Council can see fit to subsidise the Nevis Centre it would be willing to encourage a committee which has shown such enterprise and grant it even a fraction of the money required to finish the project.
As the Lochaber Times of Thursday March 30 pointed out, the community hall on Raasay find themselves in need of £18,000 to fund repairs. The importance of community and village halls cannot be over-stated and I would like to think that it could be a comfort to the committees of these enterprises that the Highland Council’s committee (ECAS) considers it prudent to subsidise one community centre in such a magnanimous gesture. John Maitland, St Monance, North Corran, Ardgour.