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Decision day for Proudfoot lease changes

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Decision day for Proudfoot lease changes

A WRITTEN agreement which gifted a building to the community of Moffat 134 years ago looks set to be scrubbed and replaced.

But the overall intention behind The Proudfoot Endowment will be honoured and the community will continue to benefit under the new terms.

In a historic deal, William Proudfoot handed over his building to the provost and baillies of Moffat in 1889 for the benefit of the working men of the town. The trustees acquired this ‘Moffat Working Man’s Institute’, which was used as a reading room, a library and a recreation hall.

These days, the Institute is occupied by the Proudfoot Social and Recreation Club (the “Club”) and Dumfries and Galloway Council is its trustee, with a duty to carry out repairs to the exterior and insure the building.

The club have now asked the council to grant a long lease which would allow members to expand the facilities and develop social and sporting events.

However, this is not permitted under the terms of the original trust agreement. So last month, Annandale and Eskdale area committee members passed a motion calling for the trustee resolution to be changed, which would allow for the long term lease agreement to be passed.

The matter will go before the full meeting of Dumfries and Galloway Council this week where all of the region’s councillors will make a final decision.

A report due to be tabled at the meeting reads: “There is a benefit to the council in granting the lease as the club will have full responsibility for the maintenance and repair of the Institute, including the exterior and for insuring the building which is presently paid for by the council in its own capacity.

“The club will also pay rent which will provide an income for the council as trustee of the trust.”

It continued that the changes would “enable the club to enhance its offering and enable the people of Moffat to use the Institute for social and sporting events, on payment of a fee, for which there is obviously an appetite.”


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