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Cost fears for Proudfoot’s future

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By Christie Breen
Moffat
Cost fears for Proudfoot’s future

WORRIES about the future of the Proudfoot Institute were heard at Moffat’s community council meeting this week.

The historic building turned social club is currently occupied by The Proudfoot Indoor Sports and Social Club rent free and its facilities regularly used by various groups and clubs within the community for meetings and social gatherings.

Last month it was reported that the clubs and its members were seeking to take over the PI fully, including starting to pay rent, and had asked the local authority, who are the building’s trustees, to grant them a long lease.

The matter was discussed at a full meeting of Dumfries and Galloway Council on Tuesday, where elected members were presented with a report outlining the amendments to the Proudfoot Endowment.

Speaking during that meeting, Annandale North Cllr Steven Thompson said: “This has set a few hares running.

“I want to make clear that we want to change the article of the trust so that we can start negotiating a long-term lease.

“Can we give assurances to the group that all we’re doing is allowing ourselves the opportunity to start these negotiations in earnest so that the outcome of the group can be met as well with their wishes for the benefit of the town.”

In response to Cllr Thompson, the council’s property estates and programmes manager, Paul McCulloch stated: “There has been dialogue with the group regarding any future lease and that any lease will be negotiated between the council and the group.”

However, members of the club’s committee have repeatedly stated that there has been a lack of communication about any such lease, as PI committee member David Booth told Moffat and District Community Council on Tuesday night. He said: “I saw the papers that went before the council earlier this week, they state the group that’s planning to take over the PI will be responsible for the interior and exterior costs, insurance and pay rent to the endowment group. Based on my calculations the total cost will come to about £50,000 a year.

“This is not going to happen, I don’t know what planet some people think they’re on, but I’ve recently done the accounts and the Proudfoot at the moment have £29,000 in their account.

“The building needs a lot of work on the outside, the club can maintain the inside but the insurance policy can be whatever Dumfries and Galloway Council say it is.

“This is a sordid state of affairs and the club will never ever afford it, it’s a bunch of volunteers trying to do their best and this would bury them and that would be the end of the Proudfoot.

“Nobody has spoken to the Proudfoot about this, it’s frustrating and it will be appalling if the Proudfoot has to shut.”

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