Show your support for the court

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The community trust behind plans to revitalise the former Arbroath Sheriff Court building is asking the public to support the project.

The Arbroath Courthouse Community Trust (ACCT) has been hard at work in the 12 months since the group held a public meeting on the future of the building.

They are now hoping that the people of Arbroath are still of a mind to take plans forward and turn the empty shell into a community asset.

To determine the level of public support for such a project a team of independent consultants will be brought in and, through a variety of means, will find out exactly what Arbroath wants from the project.

Angus Roberts, interim chairman of the ACCT, explained: “The main focus of the trust at present is to secure funding for the major community consultation which is the next essential step along the route to acquisition.

“The timeline we illustrated at the public meeting has slipped for this consultation process.

‘‘However, it remains a key part of the process to establish whether there is support and a will within the town to secure the complex.

“This community wide consultation provides an opportunity for other groups and individuals to have their say on how best to utilise such an asset were it to be acquired.

“Such an exercise would be carried out by a professional group of consultants well-versed in such matters.

‘‘The cooperation of locally-based groups and interested individuals is paramount in such an exercise and the opportunity to express your interest will add to the outcomes of the consultative report.

‘‘The final document will include a suggested business plan based on the evidence revealed by the study.

“Scottish Court Property Services have accepted the outline we provided as to how the buildings would be used for public/community benefit and thus allows for a potential favourable disposal of their property to the trust.

“The constituted trust allows for full participation from all sectors of our community and are now relying on full community support to bring this endeavour to a satisfactory conclusion.

“The trust’s acronym is ‘ACCT’, we are hoping the townspeople will do just that and support this crucial stage in securing this invaluable part of our historic heritage for the benefit of all.”