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Pool for a pound

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By Abbey Morton
Lockerbie and Lochmaben
Pool for a pound

LAND to create Lockerbie’s dream swimming pool was handed over today — for just £1.

Members of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s policy and resources committee met this morning and agreed to recommendations that land on Glasgow Road is handed over to Lockerbie Swimming Pool and Leisure Centre Trust for the nominal sum.

The councillors agreed to the recommendations and the local authority will now enter into a legally binding contract with the trust for four and a half years, giving them time to develop the site.

At the meeting councillor Ivor Hyslop questioned handing over an asset for a nominal sum and suggested the land could be placed on the open market in a bid to general income for the council.

Welcoming the step forward, trust chairman Bert McDonald said: “It’s all part of an agreement that has been on the go for many moons, but it has just not been formal.

“We’ve always had the will of the council to have the ground for a pound, but if we get it all signed it off it puts us in a good position.”

Planning permission was granted last year for the erection of a pool, associated facilities, a cafe, car parking and access for the site behind Lockerbie Ice Rink.

And the trust has until June 2018 to start work.

Failure to begin by then could result in the council terminating their contract.

In a report for councillors, acting service leader estates management Alastair Johnson said: “Agreeing to enter into the contract up until 11 June 2020 would provide for a reasonable timescale within which the Trust could be sufficiently progressed with the development to enable the transfer of this asset to be completed.”

He added: “Entering into the contract will support the trust in their aspiration to build a swimming pool and leisure centre for the communities in and around Lockerbie.”

Meanwhile, the Trust are now turning their attention to securing the necessary funding.

Mr McDonald said: “The next big step is Lottery funding, and that’s not open until March. The same goes for European funding.”

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