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Group bids to take over games facility

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Dumfries and West
Group bids to take over games facility

A COMMUNITY group has revealed its grand plans to “resurrect” a run-down multi-use games area (MUGA) and establish a sports and social hub in the Glenkens.

St John’s Town of Dalry Community Properties Trust (DCPT) is aiming to take ownership of Dalry MUGA, which currently has a poor surface and is badly in need of a revamp.

If the charity secures a community asset transfer of the MUGA from Dumfries and Galloway Council, this could open the door to wider sporting and social benefits.

In their application, group representative Gary Blissett wrote: “The objectives of this proposal is to take ownership of the facility, reinstate it, and make it once again available for use by the adjacent school and the residents of Dalry and surrounding area.

“Funding will be sought in order that the playing surface may be reinstated (currently unusable).”

He continued: “The facility is located very close to the Glenkens Community Centre recently acquired by DCPT, thus creating a potential sports and social hub.”

DCPT members are “very much in favour of the resurrection of the MUGA” in Dalry, and Dumfries and Galloway Council officers are also positive about handing over the council asset and ownership of an adjoining track access to the MUGA from Kirkland Street.

The community asset transfer bid is not at stage two and will come before councillors at Stewartry Area Committee next week.

The DCPT application underlines the potential for transforming this games facility, stating: “A MUGA in Penpont, near Moniaive, has been in operation for about ten years and now has around 100 users every week, including individuals and clubs from a wide catchment area.

“There is no reason why Dalry cannot achieve a similar response.

“DCPT has already received enquiries from a number of individuals and groups including Threave Rovers in Castle Douglas, and the community engagement worker in nearby New Galloway.

“Whilst the population of Dalry is just 400, the total for the Dee and Glenkens ward is around 10,000. There is currently no other MUGA facility in operation within 20 miles of Dalry.

Council officers are recommended that the community asset transfer is approved, however councillors will have the final say at Stewartry Area Committee on Wednesday.