Months of jumping through hoops to provide a purpose-built gymnastics centre in Forfar are nearing completion with the start of a formal public consultation process.
Angus Council has placed notices within the Forfar Loch Country Park regarding an application by the Phoenix (Forfar) Gymnastics Club for the change of use of the former tennis courts.
The club has ambitious plans for a £724,000 state-of the art facility and has lodged a community asset transfer request with the council for the tennis courts and associated car parking.
Club members now have to wait until September to find out if they have been successful.
Currently training at Forfar Community Campus and the Dick McTaggart Centre in Dundee, members have raised £740,000, including an £80,000 club donation.
Head coach Shona Forbes said: “This is another step forward for us.
“We have been working on this since November 2017 when we saw the opportunity to develop the site.”
The club has already secured planning permission to build the facility.
Shona continued: “We went for planning permission as there was no point in going through this long process for a community asset transfer if the council was going to say ‘no’.”
The group has spent £5,000 to get to this stage and launched a Crowdfunder last year to cover planning costs and ground testing.
“We have up to 300 registered members from the ages of eight weeks old right through until they choose to leave.
“Kids come from all over Angus and Aberdeenshire.
“We have been fundraising for this for years.”
The new building would include a gym hall, meeting room, kitchen, club office, toilets and changing rooms and would be the only facility of its kind between Dundee and Aberdeen.
Shona added: “We hope the public will get behind us. We are prepared for some negative comments, we have to be realistic this will not be everyone’s cup of tea but hope people will see what we are trying to do for the kids.”
An Angus Council spokesman confirmed the full transfer application had been received and is being processed. Notices have been issued as the property is part of the Forfar Common Good.
The council spokesman said: “As part of this consultation a notice has been placed at the tennis courts to assist in informing any members of the public of the application.”
The consultation period ends on May 27.
Any representations made will then be forwarded to the club who will have a further four weeks to make any comments.
The application and any representations will then be considered by the community asset transfer group and a report and recommendation will be made to the council’s policy and resources committee for a decision.