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Surplus to requirement

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Dumfries and West
Surplus to requirement

A BUILDING in Dumfries which houses a nursery and offices for two leading trade unions is set to be sold off by Dumfries and Galloway Council.

The red sandstone building at 1-3 George Street is owned by the local authority but no longer needed for any council services.

It is now considered surplus to requirements and it is being proposed to put the building on the market.

Playworks Nursery is currently a tenant occupying the first floor of the building, while Unite and Unison trade unions have offices on the ground floor.

While an alternative office location has been found for the trade unions, any sale and fresh takeover of the building could have left the nursery without a home.

Fortunately, steps are being taken to address this situation.

The matter is due to be discussed at the council’s economy and resource committee today (Tues) where council officers have put forward specific plans to sell the building.

A report produced by Paul McCulloch, the council’s property estates and programmes manager, states: “Work is ongoing to re-locate both trade unions to spaces within the municipal chambers on Buccleuch Street, Dumfries.

“Work is also ongoing with the sitting tenant (nursery) to finalise a five-year lease which will form part of a market sale of the property should elected members agree to declare it surplus.”

In August last year, it was agreed by the council’s finance, procurement and transformation committee any council assets must be declared surplus by council departments before any disposal.

The report states: “The 1 to 3 George Street building in Dumfries sits within the asset portfolio of the economy and resources directorate which is comprised of the following services: finance and procurement, people and transformation, economy and development, assessors and electoral registration office.

“Each relevant head of service and lead officer has confirmed that their respective services do not require to make use of the property and declaring it surplus will have no negative impacts on the current and future delivery of services internally within the council or to external customers.”

The report continues: “To ensure that our council moves towards having fewer but better assets, and can reduce our estate where properties are no longer required, they must be disposed of.

“To dispose of properties, they must be declared surplus to the requirements of the council.”

Councillors will have the final say on whether or not the building is put up for sale.

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