Recreation facility hope

THE POSSIBILITY of erecting a community hall in the Cliffburn/Hayshead area was put forward again at the meeting of the Cliffburn and Hayshead Community Planning Group last Thursday.

Margot Reilly, chair of the Association of Residents of Cliffburn and Hayshead, said: “When the group was launched we had high hopes for it. We and Angus Council recognised that although a lot of the physical regeneration of Cliffburn and Hayshead area had taken place there were still pockets of deprivation around and many social, health and education issues needed to be resolved.

“By bringing various agencies in the town together we thought that this expertise coming together would be the way forward for our community.”

She explained that various sub groups were set up to bring together experts in particular areas.

These sub groups have now disappeared and the group only meets once every three months. However one issue that was discussed by the group at the last meeting has re-lit a fire that has been burning brightly for some time.

Margot continued: “During the regeneration of our area, which was ongoing from 2002 to 2006, there was the real possibility of a community facility being built using money gained by the community from the sale of council houses to Angus Housing Association.

“Various surveys were conducted and it was quite obvious from the results that the people in the Cliffburn and Hayshead area would welcome a community facility and use it frequently. Unfortunately, for one reason or another, the stock transfer collapsed, which meant there was not any receipt from the sale of houses and the dream we had died.”

Margot stated: “We have always still hoped that one day we would be able to have a community facility of sorts. Our desire to have a large community hall is probably unrealistic but a modular building that could be big enough to host community events might still fulfil our ambitions.

“We have conducted a recent survey of our members and 80 per cent of respondents said there was a need for such a facility in the area. We now wish to work in partnership with Angus Council and other agencies to put together a plan which will determine where a modular building could be sited.

“The next stage is to build a business case before applying to either the Big Lottery’s Growing Communities Assets programme or Community Spaces Programme.”

She concluded: “Of course, this is still only an idea and the last thing we would want to do is to raise people expectations. We may never be able to achieve the community facility we would like but at the very least we can investigate the possibilities.”