Closure-threatened town hall to be run by community
Council chiefs have approved transfer of the property to the Forres Community Trust
Council chiefs have approved the transfer of a closure-threatened town hall, allowing a community to take over the running of the building.
Moray Council had planned to close a number of town halls in the area and its property in Forres was a risk of closure.
The Forres Community Trust (FACT) had been running the building since July 2018 on a "transitional basis" after the authority said some town halls would need to close.
And a recent public consultation showed there was strong support for the group to take over the building.
The town hall is estimated to sell at a cost of £75,000, which is 50% of its current value.
A Community Asset Transfer for the building has now been approved by councillors, who praised the efforts of Forres Area Community Trust (FACT).
The group has been running the building on a transitional basis from July 2018, after Moray Council said a number of town halls would face closure without a Community Asset Transfer.
The authority has now approved the transfer of the building which was originally a masonic hall and used as a hospital during war times.
And the final step in the asset transfer process is court consent because it us a common good asset.
Councillor Aaron McLean, chairman of Moray Council's policy and resources committee, said he was pleased the transfer is a step closer to completion.
He said: "As a Forres councillor, I know how hard FACT members and volunteers have been working since July last year, on behalf of Forres residents, to secure the future of the town hall.
"I hope that the rest of the process runs smoothly and that FACT can soon call themselves proud owners of Forres Town Hall.
"We have already seen a great improvement in the look and use of the building since they took over the tenancy and I'm sure we will see this continue once they have access to further funding.
"I'm certain they will provide a much improved for the benefit of residents for many more years to come."