South Ayrshire politicians have given their backing to the bid by Troon Scouts to buy their hall from the council.

We revealed this week that the 28th Ayrshire (Troon) Scouts are trying to raise £45,000 to take over the hall.

They say they "desperately" need the public's help to keep the vital community facility open.

Central Ayrshire MP Dr Philippa Whitford said today: “The Scout Hall is a well-used facility, supporting the activities of many community groups, but it is clear the current leasing arrangement is no longer sustainable.

"I, therefore, welcome the bid from the Scout Group to purchase the hall from the council to make it more financially viable in the longer term.

"The asset transfer scheme has successfully facilitated new ownership of many community facilities, which has secured their long-term future and allowed them to be developed, in partnership with other stakeholders, to maximise the benefit to the local community."

Troon councillor Bob Pollok is also backing the bid.

He said: "The Scout Hall is a valuable resource in the local community which is widely used by a range of groups in addition to the Scouts.

"As a local ward councillor, I am fully supportive of the application for a CAT. I believe that a community group taking over the running of it is the best guarantee of it remaining open and maintaining its long-term future, particularly at a time when the council’s budget is under severe strain and there is a likelihood that at some point community resources such as this will have to be closed as the council can no longer afford to maintain them.

"I am also aware of the excellent work which the Scout movement does with young people in the area, offering then great range of diversionary activities."

Fellow Troon councillor Philip Saxton added: "I am aware that the council will consider the proposal under the Community Asset Transfer Act.

"The Scouts will be obliged to show that the local community would benefit from the transfer.

"At this time, I have no objections to the Scouts getting full control of the building."

The former youth centre in St Meddans Street has been run by the Scouts since 2014 and is used by a wide range of community groups.

Craig Smith, chair of the Troon Scouts trustees, revealed: "To date, we have invested over £50,000 of our own raised funds into the fabric and upkeep of the building.

"However the buildings, particularly the rear one, require a lot of maintenance and repair work to keep them operational, with running costs rapidly increasing."

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