A Fife club for people with disabilities has had a bid to purchase new premises rejected.
The Hyperclub had hoped to snap up the vacant Rosyth Resource Centre for £4,000 but Fife Council refused on the basis it would be £146,000 out of pocket for the £150,000 centre, which has been earmarked for refurbishment as a nursery.
The Hyperclub has challenged the decision and launched an appeal.
The team running the club want to expand it into a seven-day service and say the current location at Ballast Bank Community Centre in Inverkeithing is not fit for purpose.
Team member Helen Cullen said it provided an essential service for children with conditions including ADHD, autism, Down’s syndrome and Tourettes, as well as disabled adults and the elderly.
“We have a waiting list of people who we can’t give any more help to because we are so full up,” she said.
>> Keep up to date with the latest news with The Courier newsletter
“This club is essential to a lot of people. The building we’re in isn’t fit for purpose. There’s water pouring in every time it rains and it’s very cold for the kids.
“What people don’t realise is that we pay the council about £900 a month for rent and one of the things we got turned down for was they said they didn’t know if we could manage the bills, but the bills are not going to be £1,000 a month.
“People think we get all this for free from the council but we pay rent and are all self-funded. We’ve never had a penny from the council.”
She added, should the club be allowed to buy Rosyth Resource Centre in Granville Way, the team could have it ready for use “within months, maybe even weeks”.
At the last meeting of the council’s Assets, Property and Facilities Committee, a motion lodged by Labour councillor Gary Guichan to refuse the Hyperclub’s community asset transfer request was passed by 10 votes to three.
Conservative councillor Dave Dempsey, who represents Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay, said: “I’m naturally disappointed, though it was heartening to hear that committee members from all sides recognised the work that the Hyperclub does and that the committee decision included a request that the club be supported in its search for an alternative home.
“I’ve heard that the meeting was given a figure of £1.5 million to refurbish the Rosyth Resource Centre as a nursery against £2m to build a new one.
“It strikes me that £2m for two buildings contributing to the wellbeing of the community versus £1.5m for just one sounds like a good deal.
“There’s also the question of location. A parent with one child at primary school and another at nursery would appreciate having the two side by side, which won’t be the case if the decision stands.”