Nine parties have shown an interest in Forfar’s empty Lochside leisure centre.
They came forward after To Let signs went up on the building in the latest stage of the saga surrounding its future.
Recent weeks have seen five site visits by potential occupiers.
But Angus Council officials will tell a full meeting of the authority on Thursday that details around the planned uses for the eyesore remain sketchy.
And whatever the future holds, the 46-year-old building will remain standing for at least another 12 months.
Sale, lease, a community asset transfer (CAT), demolition or leaving the centre standing all remain on the table.
There is a prospect this week’s meeting will finally see councillors plump for a favoured option.
Community consultation would then follow.
However, anything other than the status quo would have to be approved by the courts under community empowerment legislation.
How we reached this point
An informal 2020 consultation which drew 334 responses returned 35.9% in favour of bulldozing Lochside.
Almost a third of those who responded favoured a community asset transfer, 23% wanted to see it sold and 11% backed a lease. Just 1% supported the status quo of leaving the building empty and still standing.
In June, a town community sports trust pulled the plug on their (CAT) bid to take over the centre, which was vacated in 2017.
It led to the decision to market the building for lease.
In his report to this week’s first full council meeting following the summer recess, infrastructure director Ian Cochrane says: “Following six weeks of marketing, J E Shepherd have received nine expressions of interest involving five site visits in late August.
“The expressions of interest are from a range of individuals, organisations and businesses who are looking at leasing a mix of only part or all of the property, and in one case includes the car park which has not been declared surplus.”
One part wants to use only part of the centre for toilets, showers, a meeting room and storage
Another is the potential lease of the full building for a community hub.
Mr Cochrane adds: “There is limited detail of the intentions and further discussions with the parties is required to allow a comparison of the interests and due diligence before these can be reported to council for consideration.”
The council recently spent £1,500 on repairs to stop water leaking into the building and £2,000 has been set aside for autumn drain clearing and other works.
Those costs have been taken from the £427,000 set aside for Lochside’s demolition – the plan which triggered a court fight to save the centre and has taken the council to this point in deciding the building’s fate.
Mr Cochrane’s team has also suggested the potential timeframes around the five options.
Sale, lease or demolition would all take around 12 months to complete.
A community asset transfer could stretch out to two-and-a-half years.
Mr Cochrane adds: “For the avoidance of doubt, the future of the former Lochside leisure centre building will not be finally decided until the council has considered the results of the formal consultation process under Section 104 (of the Community Empowerment Act) in terms of a further report to council.
“A decision is then taken on the preferred option having due regard to that consultation response and, finally, where any option is decided other than status quo, court approval is sought and obtained for that option.”