Council Offered £1 Bid For Langholm Day Centre


At the meeting of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Policy and resources Committee (2nd Feb) Members will be asked to recommend the transfer of ownership of Langholm Day Centre and the former Library to Langholm and District Day Centre for Older People Ltd for a nominal sum of £1, as per the previous recommendation by Annandale and Eskdale Area Committee in August 2016

Dumfries and Galloway  Council has already demonstrated its commitment to work with communities to help them run their own facilities across the region. Various buildings and parcels of land have already been transferred into community ownership across the region.

A key priority of our Capital Investment Strategy was to support a reduction in the number of Council properties and to ensure that investment is focusses on the maintenance and improvement of a reduced, more sustainable estate.

Langholm Day Centre has been managed on a day to day basis by Langholm and District Day Centre for Older People Ltd for 34 years. This is a well-established, well utilised service which not only plays a key role to the local community’s aging population, but which is also used by people of all ages.
The Library moved to Langholm Town Hall in June 2015 as part of the integration of libraries, customer service centres and registration, leaving the former library building vacant. The former library would be accessible from the day centre by re-opening the connecting wall between the buildings. It is proposed that the newly expanded space could then be utilised as a community space and hub, not only for Day Centre users, but also for the wider community, thus maximising the use of the building.
Dumfries and Galloway Council have already invested funds to ensure that the property was in fair condition prior to any community transfer: utilising funding from the Community Facilities Review allocation within the Building / Property (Non-Schools) Capital Asset Class. Works completed have included: work to slate and flat roofs; work to external walls and doors; replacement and repair of windows; electrical works and external decoration. An asbestos survey and boiler house environmental clean-up was also carried out. Providing the buildings are now transferred, there is expected to be a net budgetary saving of over £10,000 per annum for the Council.
Legally, where the capital value of the land is greater than £10,000 but the proposal is to dispose of the asset for less than 75% of the capital value, the Council are required to appraise and compare the costs, the disadvantages and benefits of the proposal; be satisfied that the disposal of the building is for a reasonable purpose; and agree that disposal is likely to contribute to either economic development or regeneration, improved health and/or social / environmental well-being in respect of the surrounding area and residents. Council officers have estimated that the market value of this property as £75,000.
Langholm and District Day Centre for Older People Ltd believe that acquiring this development will further improve community spirit and cohesion and better enable joint marketing with groups to increase their chances of obtaining external grants for project funding.
Chair of Policy and Resources Committee, Councillor Ronnie Nicholson said: “As a council we are committed to working with local communities to develop and improve facilities in the area.
We have already provided significant investment in these properties, ensuring that they are robust, safe, sustainable and fit for purpose for the future needs of interested parties. By agreeing to Langholm and District Day Centre for Older People taking ownership we would also be safeguarding these buildings for the use of the local community and support the exciting plans of the Day Centre to improve facilities in the area”.

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