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Community in bid for former school

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By Fiona Reid
Community in bid for former school

A BID to see the former Moffat Academy transformed into affordable homes for young people or modern retirement flats has been submitted.

After lying empty since March 2010, the building could be transferred into community ownership. Tuesday was deadline day for formal bids on the site, which was put on the open market.

And Moffat Community Council officially requested to have ownership of the old school transferred, in the hope of establishing a development trust to take forward the project.

A report prepared in 2013 showed that locals were keen to see the old school transformed into affordable community housing and community councillors are keen to keep this dream alive.

Community councillor David Booth is one member of the Moffat group acting as a driving force behind the old school take over.

Mr Booth said: “There are four derelict sites in Moffat but this one has the legs to be a successful project if there is a will within the council and the political support to make it work. “It is entirely within the gift of our local authority and there will be grants available for this type of project and there is most certainly a social need for more housing.”

So far the committee have submitted the stage one application and hope to progress to a stage two bid shortly.

Mr Booth said: “It would a regional disgrace if the old Moffat Academy went down the same road as Lockerbie Academy, demolished. ”I must believe that the council would prefer to see a viable outcome which recognises the well-being of the community and that they will realise a quick buck in terms of a sale will not serve the public interest.”

He added: “There is much talk in government circles of community empowerment and this is an opportunity to demonstrate just that. “I have called on our political representatives to use their best endeavours to ensure that this project gets a good hearing and they give their full support.”

Lockerbie and Lochmaben

01st Mar

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By Fiona Reid | DNG24