A £2 million plan to transform a former Monifieth school building into a community hub has gone up in smoke.
The Monifieth Community Resource Group wanted to create a multi-purpose centre at Invertay House which is surplus to Angus Council requirements.
A community asset transfer from Angus Council was dependent on a £1 million bid for Big Lottery funding which has been turned down.
MCRG Chair Jean Lee said: “We knew the bid was a strong one, we’d had independent professionals look it over and they were all very impressed.
“It made it to the final rounds of the Big Lottery process but it turns out we were up against other bids which would have greater impact on levels of deprivation and need.
“Monifieth is not an area of high social deprivation and Big Lottery money is now very tight.
“Maybe if we’d been up against bids from Morningside or Kelvinside we’d have breezed it.
“It all depends who you’re up against on the day.
“Monifieth has been overlooked in terms of leisure facilities by generations of councils dating back beyond Tayside Region, and now that we are all living in a time of austerity we find ourselves in the trap of being considered relatively affluent and therefore not in the running for Big Lottery funding.
“We can sit on our hands and moan about it all or we can get stuck in and sort it our ourselves.”
Campaigners hoped to hold sports and community events in the council-owned premises, which were most recently used to process benefit inquiries.
The venue could even have been used to host concerts.
The option of purchasing the building and just bringing it up to current standards was investigated but proved not to be financially viable.
Jean said: “Every feasibility study we have done has highlighted the need for a large sports/activities space and the hall in Invertay House is a third smaller than the Portacabin we currently operate out of.
“The plan to invest in the old building and use it as a community centre has now been abandoned.”
The group has now revisited its original plan to build a fit for purpose community centre at the Blue Seaway.
Jean said: “Monifieth Athletic is a very vibrant sports club with ambitions to build a sports hub near their pitches at the river front and we have been working in parallel with them for a couple of years.
“They too had hoped for Big Lottery money which is pretty much a non-starter for them now.
“We are planning to join forces with them to make sure that Monifieth gets the best of what’s possible as soon as possible.
“Early discussions have been very positive and we all share the same goal of getting what’s best for the people of Monifieth.
“Together we will be a strong voice and together we can tap into a wider range of funding options.
“We can have a fit for purpose building in a magnificent setting.”