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Church denies hall offer claim

CHURCH of Scotland has denied claims that Springfield and Gretna Green Community Council and Community Assets Trust made any formal interest or offer to purchase Old Gretna Church Hall.

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By Ben Murray
Annan and Eskdale

IT comes after the hall was put up for sale, sparking concerns in the community that losing access to the hall car park would cause disruption and loss of revenue.

Groups have used the car park for over 20 years due to Stormont Hall being right beside it.

In 2019, the Springfield and Gretna Green Community Asset Trust say they approached the Church of Scotland, with the support of the local community council, expressing an interest to buy the church hall and car park. However, they say they received no response from the church.

But a spokesperson from the Church of Scotland has now said: “The congregation of local churches has met with representatives of Springfield and Gretna Green Community Council and Community Assets Trust on a number of occasions, both formally and informally.

“However as yet we have not received any formal note of interest or offer on Old Gretna Church Hall from either body.

“We continue to work with all interested parties in the local community to find an acceptable resolution.

“We aim to be transparent in all our proposals for the church property under our ownership as we move towards ensuring our resources are allocated in a realistic and sustainable way to meet our 21st century needs.”

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has written to the Moderator of the Church of Scotland asking for a meeting to discuss the situation and possible resolutions.

He said: “Ideally we would hope the church would put a halt on any sale to allow time for a community buy-out to be developed.”