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Hopes high in Moray as community signs lease to take over town hall

Hopes high in Moray as community signs lease to take over town hall

A group of Moray campaigners have taken possession of the keys for their treasured community hall and have vowed to turn around its fortunes.

The town hall in Findochty was slated for closure by the council as part of budget savings earlier this year.

Locals were given until the end of June in order to put together proposals to save the building but that deadline was later extended to give them more time.

Yesterday, the group, which has been christened Findochty Town Hall, agreed a temporary arrangement to keep the building open.

And the management committee has pledged to roll back on changes that had been implemented by the council in order to make the 1920s venue thrive once again.

Secretary Pamela Ross said: “We’re really optimistic about the future and getting as much community involvement as possible.

“In recent years the prices have gone up at the hall to such an extent that people have stopped using it and found alternative places to go.

“It’s sad really. The hall is right in the middle of the village and should be well used so we’re going to try to find prices that people are happy to pay.”

The current short-term lease has been signed by the village’s community council until the Findochty Town Hall management committee gains charitable status.

An agreement has been put in place between the two organisations to allow the building, which was initially built as a masonic hall, to remain open.

Negotiations are expected to continue to finalise long-term arrangements for the hall, which could include a longer lease or a transfer of ownership of the hall.

Buckie councillor Sonya Warren believes it is imperative the hall is maintained for local residents.

She said: “It’s really the only hall in the village. You don’t want to make people travel to host their events, particularly younger people.

“It’s good it’s in the hands of the community now and hopefully they will nurture it and bring it back to life by attracting more groups to it.”

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