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LEAP gets set to lease former Council facilities


Charity has agreed lease for Tollpitch and Spittal halls.

LEAP has agreed to a temporary lease for the Tollpitch and Spittal halls to keep them as community facilities. Executive Director Stuart McGregor gives an update on progress so far.


Stuart said: “There seems to be a lot of rumours and speculation in the local area and LEAP would like to clarify its position in relation to community facilities.


“LEAP has recently agreed to a temporary lease with South Lanarkshire Council for the Tollpitch facility in Cambuslang and the Spittal Community Hall in Rutherglen. The temporary lease is with a view to LEAP taking on longer leases for both facilities as Community Asset Transfers. LEAP has been in negotiations with SLC since March 2023 when both facilities were closed.


“We are keen to retain these valuable community assets for our classes and activities, for local community groups and local people to make future use of and avoid their permanent closure.


“At the beginning of 2023, Halfway Library was also rumoured to be on a closure list and, at the time, LEAP had expressed an interest in the premises for the same reason that we do not want other facilities to close.


“However, Halfway Library was not up for closure in March 2023 and so no other discussion took place. Since the most recent closure announcements have taken place, SLC has invited expressions of interest in facilities that are closing.


“LEAP has given an expression of interest to SLC regarding the Halfway Library premises and the possibility of LEAP taking over the premises as a community meeting space. SLC has put a deadline on expressions of interest in facilities as the 31 March 2024 and we hope to enter into discussions with SLC following the deadline and whatever process they put in place to make decisions.


“LEAP does not have the skills or resources to operate this space as a library service and our understanding is that SLC has set up the future libraries fund to develop plans for alternative models of library provision in order to fill this gap. LEAP’s main concern is that there is no further erosion of local community facilities, and we are attempting to do what we can to keep community spaces in local community ownership instead of losing them to commercial operators or lying empty.


“We would like to save all the facilities that are up for closure but unfortunately that is not practical. However, we believe we can use our skills and local knowledge to retain some of the facilities affected.”

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