Crunch talks on cen­tre takeover

Cas­tle Dou­glas res­i­dents urged to at­tend meet­ing

The Galloway News - - DECISION TIME - Stephen Nor­ris

A takeover of clo­surethreat­ened Cas­tle Dou­glas Com­mu­nity Cen­tre (CDCC) could come a step closer next week.

Groups us­ing the pop­u­lar venue are to de­bate whether tak­ing it over makes fi­nan­cial sense.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of all mem­ber or­gan­i­sa­tions are be­ing urged to at­tend a crunch meet­ing in the cen­tre on Thurs­day.

They will hear a pre­sen­ta­tion from con­sul­tants the Cree­town Ini­tia­tive on the pros and cons of be­com­ing own­ers.

Project man­ager An­drew Ward briefed CDCC rep­re­sen­ta­tives last Fri­day on a busi­ness plan for run­ning the premises.

Now man­age­ment com­mit­tee chair­man David Web­ster wants a big turnout for next week’s vi­tal pre­sen­ta­tion.

He told the News: “Mr Ward will present his find­ings and rec­om­men­da­tions on the fi­nances re­quired to make com­mu­nity own­er­ship suc­cess­ful.

“Peo­ple can then get an idea at that meet­ing whether or how much they want to take on.

“To­gether we will con­sider the way for­ward based on the fea­si­bil­ity study, busi­ness plan, ar­chi­tects re­port and en­ergy re­port.

“We have all the facts and fig­ures we need and they will be put in front of ev­ery­body for a de­ci­sion in prin­ci­ple on the night.”

Op­tions open to the CDCC man­age­ment com­mit­tee in­clude be­com­ing a char­i­ta­ble or­gan­i­sa­tion to pur­chase and run the cen­tre.

Around 44 groups use the im­pos­ing for­mer Vic­to­rian school on Cot­ton Street.

Mr Web­ster added: “We would urge peo­ple to at­tend – I can’t stress enough how im­por­tant it is that they come to the meet­ing to de­cide on what steps we take.

“Any de­ci­sion we ul­ti­mately reach will be of vi­tal im­por­tance to the com­mu­nity of Cas­tle Dou­glas.”

The coun­cil is of­fload­ing all its com­mu­nity cen­tres by next March to save cash.

Those not be­ing taken on by lo­cal groups are likely to be put up for sale – po­ten­tially forc­ing user groups to find a new home.

Cas­tle Dou­glas Com­mu­nity Cen­tre boasts a con­fer­ence room, cafe­te­ria, day cen­tre for the el­derly and an IT training cen­tre.

Hop­ing for a good at­ten­dance Mem­bers of the com­mu­nity cen­tre man­age­ment com­mit­tee

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