Sports equipment from Forfar’s controversial Lochside leisure centre is still lying unused inside the boarded-up building more than two years after its closure.
As the future of the demolition-earmarked facility remains at the centre of a Court of Session wrangle, council chiefs have admitted not all of the centre’s old kit has gone to a new home.
It has also emerged that some pieces of equipment still languish inside the shut-down Brechin leisure centre, where the key was turned in 2016.
The authority came under fire from locals when images from inside the Forfar centre revealed equipment including five-a-side goals and basketball stands still on the floor of the main hall of a building last used in February 2017, prior to its replacement by the town’s multi-million pound community campus.
It followed access being given to two local businessmen for a look round the building after they made separate pleas to prevent the bulldozers moving in on Lochside, including a £30,000 offer to buy from one of the parties.
The council said Lochside equipment has been re-purposed by the council’s Active Schools or transferred to the new community campus, with schools in Monifieth, Kirriemuir and Montrose also benefitting
Kit from from Brechin Sports Centre not moved up to the town’s new campus or re-purposed by Active Schools has also been snapped up.
An Angus Council spokesman said: “Any surplus sports equipment left behind on the closure of the leisure centres was passed on to other sports centres.
“Thereafter, where viable surplus equipment of value remains, it can also be offered for sale back to suppliers, or free of charge to local sports clubs.
“A small number of surplus items remain at Lochside Leisure centre that were due for disposal, however the council’s Active Schools team is currently looking to re-use this equipment in our school estate and the team are also assessing whether any equipment that remains at Brechin is viable for re-use.”
Forfar Conservative councillor Braden Davy said: “We need to make better use of council resources, it makes no sense for these items to sit idly by when they could be given a new lease of life elsewhere.
“I’m glad to see so much has already found a new home.
We need to think about everything the council does, and use assets we own better. Whether that’s sports equipment, our buildings or our land.”
A decision to demolish the Lochside Leisure Centre remains the subject of a Judicial Review bid.
The council has instructed solicitors and counsel to defend its decision to knock down the building and act on the council’s behalf at the Court of Session following a legal challenge by Forfar businessman Mark Guild.