Valuation figure received for Kirk

A COMMUNITY company which hopes to buy a 210-year-old church received a boost this week.

Dunnichen Church sits on a site at which worship is believed to have taken place as far back as the sixth century and the Dunnichen Community Company is planning to acquire it to prevent it from falling into further disrepair or becoming a private building. They want to preserve it for the benefit of the community and the general public.

The building, which dates back to 1802, was closed in August of last year.

It is the subject of a buy-out application to the Scottish government and a valuation figure released this week has put a figure of £24,500 on the property.

Support for the plan has come from Church of Scotland members, individuals who have no connection with any church, members of other denominations and individuals who are keen that the former church building should be restored.

The application to acquire the former church building was lodged in October and has been given approval, effectively giving Dunnichen Community Company preferred bidding status on the kirk.

The Angus bid was made under Section 37 (17) of the 2003 Land Reform Act, which provides the opportunity for rural communities to take control of and develop land with which the local community has a connection.

Supporters of the project say that the building is of sufficient size to create a community heritage and exhibition facility as well as a meeting place for local groups.

The next important step for the community group is to conduct a local poll of almost 500 residents to gain further support in principle for the plan.

The Church of Scotland still has the right to appeal the valuation figure.