A DANCE group leader from Troon has hit out at controversial proposals for a Community Asset Transfer (CAT) of Muirhead Activity Centre to Dundonald Gymnastics Club.

Helen Clark runs DanceStars, for three to 16-year-olds, who meet at the Troon centre on Tuesday afternoons.

The CAT proposal is under consideration by South Ayrshire Council and the decision will be announced at the Leadership Panel on June 11.

Helen said: “Muirhead Activity Centre is a valuable community hub and it doesn’t seem right that such a big club gets to use the centre for their own use and so many clubs are going to be displaced.

“Dundonald Gymnastics Club have 400 members and hope to double that, so could they not afford their own place? I’m sure they could afford to lease another premises or buy their own studio. I don’t think they have to take a valuable asset from the community.

“This is considered an underprivileged area and for one club to take over something that benefits so many in the community just doesn’t seem right.”

DanceStars will not stay if the CAT goes ahead.

Helen added: “At the moment we pay £12.50 an hour. If we wanted exclusive use of their floor they are looking at around £35 an hour, I said I couldn’t afford to do that. They then suggested £15 an hour but you would be sharing the floor. But they wouldn’t be drawn on days, times or any availability.

“We have been here seven years at Muirhead and meet twice a week. At the moment we pay £12.50 an hour but I couldn’t afford £35 an hour.

We have been told we could go to Marr College if the transfer went ahead but hopefully the proposal will not go through.”

This week Dundonald Gymnastics Club hit back.

They said in a statement: “We have responded to South Ayrshire Council on the key issues raised in the consultation process. While we recognise that our proposal will result in the displacement of some of the current sports, it will create opportunities for other spor t and leisure activities.

“Muirhead Activity Centre (MAC) was previously under threat of closure primarily due to lack of utilisation and resultant financial losses.

Opening hours were cut to reduce losses. Proposed cuts to South Ayrshire Council budgets will mean that maintaining MAC (Muirhead Activity Centre) will have to be considered against higher priority demands.

Dundonald Gymnastics Club has 400 active gymnasts with a waiting list of 200.

This popular sport is growing and the MAC will provide a facility for the club to meet current and future demands.

While gymnasts will be the core activity in the centre we will be encouraging other sports to use the facility.

“Our proposal provides a solid basis for the long term viability of the centre for the benefit of the community.

The centre will be open for longer hours than at present with fees being set competitively to ensure its sustainability.”