Green light for new £2.3m Monifieth Community Hub and Library
Angus councillors have agreed to press on with plans for a new Monifieth Community Hub and Library despite an increase in estimated costs to £2.3 million.
The project, led by Monifieth Community Resource Group (MCRG), first secured £250,000 in funding in late 2021 through Angus Council’s place-based investing programme, based upon an original project cost estimate of £1.15 million.
The size and delivery cost of the project later increased, in part because the council developed plans to relocate Monifieth Library and ACCESS services to the new hub – though the council says it is still a community-led initiative.
In September 2022, councillors were told the total project cost was projected to be £2.1 million.
A report presented to councillors yesterday notes that MCRG and its project team “now have two full tenders from different contractors which indicate that the best price available to complete the project including contingencies, professional fees, etc. is £2.274 million”.
Councillors subsequently backed a proposed £317,000 funding package, comprising £75,000 raised by MCRG, £136,000 from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, a further £35,000 from the place-based investment programme, a £20,000 contribution from ANGUSalive subject to approval by its board, and £51,000 from the capital receipt from the sale of the existing Monifieth Library.
Council leader Beth Whiteside said: “I’m delighted to welcome this report and in particular to approve the funding gap proposals. The MCRG have worked tirelessly for years to get to this stage and should be applauded for their determination, perseverance and, I don’t think they will mind me saying, their bloody-mindedness.
“Additionally, the partnership working between the Council, ANGUSalive and members of the group means that a solution has been found that is mutually beneficial and should help ensure the viability of the library provision in Monifieth for years to come.
“Indeed, should this model prove successful, as I am sure it will, this could be a template for how services could be delivered innovatively across Angus in the future.”
She added: “I can’t ignore the financial challenges of the project. However, despite the current economic climate, this administration made a pledge to look at ways of doing things so as to protect, as much as possible, the services which are delivered by the council.
“An investment in this new energy-efficient building with agreement to share the space will bring benefits and efficiencies to both groups and help ensure the success of both.
“A facility such as this has long been needed in Monifieth and is keenly anticipated.”
The funding package will be monitored by the council’s finance director, in consultation with the council leader and the opposition group’s leader. A further report on the future of the existing Monifieth Library will also be presented in due course.
A 99-year ground lease from the council to MCRG for the site of the new facility will be arranged with rent charged at £1 per year.