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Trust reveal next steps for Moffat buildings

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By Christie Breen
Moffat
Trust reveal next steps for Moffat buildings

A COMMUNITY trust in Moffat is preparing to fully take over the running of two High Street buildings.

The Moffat Town Hall Redevelopment Trust took on the town hall back in 2012, signing a 21-year-lease with the council for the building and its operating costs, excluding the attached library and public toilets, with the council running the facilites as the ‘lead user’ and the trust acting as a partner.

Then in 2022 the trust began operating a community shop out of the unmanned police station after reaching an agreement with Police Scotland.

Now the trust is looking to implement the next stage of their plans which would see them take over the running of both facilites.

Two representatives from the trust attended Tuesday’s meeting of Moffat and District Community Council (MDCC) to update residents of their plans and representative Graham Black said: “We’ve been talking to the council about shifting the lead user for the library because at the moment we run the library in partnership with the council, so we have volunteers from Moffat to run the library but the council still do all the backroom librarian work.

“But we want to be lead users because right now outside of library hours the building itself is not used.

“So we would quite like to have it as a facility to use for other things: dinner parties, small meetings, weddings or any number of things.”

The trust are also hoping to bring the police station under their wing via a community assest transfer from Police Scotland, as trust member Janet McCulloch explained: “Since opening and operating the community shop from the police station, business has gone from strength to strength and it is now a vibrant, busy, welcoming centre to all. This is mainly due to the efforts of our volunteers, community and visitors.

“The trust, upon review of the situation, is now looking to take its orignal plan forward and has applied for a community assest transfer. This proposal has been accepted by Police Scotland and this will enable a complete refurbishment of the building, allowing improvements to be made to increase overall shop appearance and turnover and allow for further development of the site for the benefit of the community.

“The trust intimated that the building would be predominantly operated as a community shop but consideration would also be given to accommodate a local tourist information centre working together with existing local tourist groups for the benefit of the town.”

It is hoped that the first steps of the transfer will be completed by September this year with a tentative start for the refurbishments in early 2025.

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