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Community group to get hands on council building

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Dumfries and West
Community group to get hands on council building

A COMMUNITY group is close to purchasing an old property in Kirkton from Dumfries and Galloway Council.

Kirkmahoe Village Hall Management Committee are keen to snap up the former Hearse House after the building was declared surplus to requirements by the local authority.

The expression of interest was raised at Nithsdale Area Committee last week as councillors were notified of plans to dispose of the building.

At the meeting, Lochar Councillor Tracey Little asked: “In October 2023 the council was approached by Kirkmahoe Village Hall Management Committee requesting to purchase the former Hearse House.

“Has this progressed? Do we have an actual cash offer?

“Or has a CAT (community asset transfer) intention been indicated?”

Council officer Colin Freeman replied: “The conversation with the community has been ongoing for some time.

“We have explored whether a community asset transfer would be an option for them. The community themselves determined that that wasn’t – therefore we had to enter into the sales process which instigated the sales and acquisition process.

“This process and this committee is the final part.

“Should members be in agreement, we can then enter into a negotiated market sale with the group.

“Terms have already been agreed with them, and we can progress the sale with them as timeously as possible.”

A council report on the matter stated: “By disposing the Former Hearse House, Kirkton, the council will look to maximise any capital receipt gained through the sale of the property and reduce any ongoing revenue costs borne by the council.”

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