The local community have been challenged by Nith Ward Labour Councillors Colin Smyth and John Martin to “step up to the mark” to ensure that proposals to re-open the Loreburn Hall in Dumfries became permanent.
The challenge was made after a long running campaign by Labour on the council get other groups to agree to re-open the hall was successful, and councillors voted to use the hall as a temporary gym when DGOne leisure centre closes from June 2014 for repairs. However, the gym may only be closed for four months and whether the Loreburn Hall remains open in the long term will depend on the running of the hall being taken over by the local community.
Nith Ward Labour Councillor Colin Smyth said, “It has been a long hard battle to get other groups on the council to perform a u-turn and back Labour’s proposals for the council to re-open the hall. I’m pleased we got there in the end even if it is on the back of the shambles that has become the closure of DGOne. But if we are to keep the hall open beyond its short term use as a temporary gym, we need the help of the local people. The council have agreed to put capital investment into the building but we need proposals for a Community Trust to run the Hall to become a reality. That will need local support so the community need to step up to the mark and get behind such proposals.”
Fellow Nith Ward Councillor John Martin added, “I have no doubt that there are plenty of community groups who want to use the Loreburn Hall and hopefully next year that will become a reality. There has been a lot of anger that the hall has simply been left to deteriorate because there is a strong affinity towards the hall from the community. At the moment DGOne isn’t suitable for some events and on occasions people haven’t been able to book it because it is so busy, so the Loreburn Hall could help fill that gap”.