The “forgotten burgh” of Angus has taken a huge step towards realising a ten-year dream with permission granted for a community hub aimed at transforming the fortunes of Monifieth.
Angus development standards committee councillors unanimously backed the recommendation of officials in approving the Monifieth Community Resource Group (MCRG) bid for land at Riverview Park.
It will now see the creation of a centre containing community space, fitness suite, café, Changing Places toilet and potential for cinema screenings.
The group fought back from the disappointment of seeing a £1million lottery bid to convert Angus Council’s former Invertay House knocked back and say a “robust” business plan is in place for the new centre, which should be in profit in fewer than five years.
Supporters say the hub, beside the Blue Seaway playpark, will be valuable asset to a community frequently tagged the “forgotten burgh” over its lack of local facilities.
The new centre could be open within 18 months.
However, there were objections to the proposal from nearby residents over issues including parking and potential amenity impact including noised from functions taking place at the centre.
MCRG treasurer Alistair Robertson told the meeting: “This will be a wonderful building in a stunning site.
“We have a thoroughly robust five-year business plan which shows the venue to be viable, breaking even in year three and into surplus in years four and five.
“Our confidence has also been buoyed by the continued financial commitment being made by Angus Council and the developers of new housing in Monifieth.
“This will be something the residents of Monifieth can be proud of.”
Local Conservative councillor Craig Fotheringham said: “This is long overdue.
“This has been a vision and a wish of the people of Monifieth for a very long time and the group have done fantastically well.”
Monifeth and Sidlaws SNP councillor Beth Whiteside added: “Many groups would have given up after the knockback by the Big Lottery Fund for the previous, hugely ambitious project at Invertay House.
“However, MCRG simply carried on, and in a relatively short space of time have made tremendous progress with plans for the new facility.
“I greatly admire their tenacity and perseverance and would like to offer them my congratulations and continued support.”
In a rallying call for continued local backing, MCRG chairman Jean Lee said: “We’ve got so many plans for all sorts of new initiatives and about thirty new groups have already said they would like to be involved.
“The new centre will be for everybody and we’ll be looking for everyone to do their bit to raise more funds and make our new centre the best it can be.”