Angus councillors have agreed to lease garage sites to a thriving men’s shed movement for a peppercorn rent.
The Forfar and District Men’s Shed is a community-based, non-commercial organisation which is open to all members of the community above the age of 18.
The group takes inspiration from the Australian “men’s shed” movement, which seeks to promote health and wellbeing, and bring men “of a certain age” together.
Councillors on the communities committee on Tuesday approved the lease of garage sites at Lochside Road to the group in a five-year deal at £1 per annum.
Head of planning Vivien Smith said: “The acquisition of a permanent location for the Forfar and District Men’s Shed would be a major step in progressing toward providing a better and more comprehensive service to the members and the wider community.
“It would provide a large purpose-built, dry, warm and secure premise for organisational meetings, project work and provide secure storage for equipment and project material.
“The group currently use council offices for scheduled meetings and have a temporary facility which is small and has no heating for project work and equipment storage.
“Permanent premises would also provide the ability to expand awareness of the Forfar Men’s Shed Group and would have a greater physical presence in the community which would enable them to attract new members.”
The Forfar and District Men’s Shed has worked in partnership with other community groups, such as providing garden planters for the Pitstop Youth café, Brechin Caledonian Railway and a local resident action group.
They have also provided fencing and disabled access steps and supported various local fundraising activities.
Forfar councillor Glennis Middleton said: “Forfar Men’s Shed is going from strength to strength and they are hoping to recruit many more members.”
“It has been quite a long time coming and I am absolutely delighted that a site has been found for this,” said fellow Forfar member Lynne Devine.
Kirriemuir councillor Ronnie Proctor said: “I think this is a great initiative and I hope that it is successful.”
Arbroath councillor David Fairweather said he didn’t know much about the movement until he was invited to visit the newest one in Angus in Arbroath.
He said that he hoped that when the time came for the Arbroath group to look for a bigger premises that they could take inspiration from what is happening in Forfar.