Community bid to take over Dalry sports pitch set to clear major hurdle

Dalry Community Properties Trust is looking to take on the MUGA
Dalry Community Properties Trust is looking to take on the MUGA -Credit:Jim McEwan

A community bid to take over a sports pitch looks set to clear a major hurdle next week.

Dalry Community Properties Trust is looking to buy the town’s multi-use games area (MUGA) for the token fee of £1.

The facility has been unused for nearly a decade but the group aims to breathe new life into the only MUGA in the Glenkens.

Their bid is recommended for approval at Wednesday’s meeting of Stewartry area committee.

And should that be successful, it will then go to the finance, procurement and transformation committee for final approval.

A report for the meeting by ward officer Scott McMeeken says that in good condition, the MUGA would be valued at around £100,000 but its current state means it is worth around £50,000.

Mr McMeekan says the trust considers the £1 appropriate “given the investment they are required to make in terms of upgrade works and the level of social value that the organisation is demonstrating up to or beyond the value of the asking price”.

He adds that the MUGA is currently in a “derelict condition” and the trust has put together a funding plan to meet the repair costs, which could be around £60,000.

Their application form says they have been in contact with a number of funders, including The Robertson Trust, Sport Scotland and the Black Craig Windfarm Fund.

With the MUGA being beside Dalry School, it is intended they will cover ongoing maintenance in return for free use.

Other costs – such as sporting equipment – will be covered by other fundraising and sponsorship.

It is intended volunteers would offer a range of sports including football, hockey, tennis and basketball.

Mr McMeekan’s report shows the trust has the backing of a number of organisations, including schools, community councils and Galloway Community Transport.

Benefits he highlights include allowing people to be physically active without travel, increased volunteer opportunities and tackling social isolation.

The only negatives are the council being unable to lease the property and no money from the sale of the asset.

He recommends Stewartry area committee members agree to recommend the transfer for £1 to the finance, procurement and transformation committee.

The area committee will meet on May 15.