A new swimming pool and leisure centre could be on the cards for Forfar after years of delay and disappointment.
As the Dispatch went to press on Tuesday (yesterday) news broke that the dream of a “community campus” for sports and leisure facilities at a site in town was closer to becoming a reality.
Vice-convener of neighbourhood services, councillor Colin Brown, gave hope to the people of Forfar that his long-term vision of a new sports and leisure campus - facilities long-called for in the town - may soon take a step forward to realisation.
It emerged that councillor Brown, together with fellow Forfar councillor John Rymer, has been working behind the scenes for some considerable time with officials to determine the best way of pursuing that wish.
Councillor Brown said: “As vice-convener of the department for leisure provision in Angus I have been very conscious that the problems at Forfar Leisure Centre and the pool have been a priority for resolution by the council.
“To that end, I have worked with councillor Mark Salmond as finance convener to ensure full consideration is given to meeting the already identified needs for a new provision through the budget preparation process.
“I am proud of the Angus Alliance’s achievements in delivering a new joint pool and leisure facility in Montrose with similar plans soon to be progressed in Brechin.
“It is now time to turn to Forfar and I would hope good sense will prevail and we can start making plans to pursue my dream.
“I know this will take some time to achieve and a lot of consideration is needed, including wide community consultation, but I do hope we can start soon following the determination of the budget exercise for 2012/13 and beyond”.
Among the first to welcome the news was Mrs Isobel Ross, chairman of Forfar Community Council.
She and her fellow councillors have campaigned for years for a replacement swimming pool for the town, commenting only last Thursday evening at the community council meeting that she had personally handed a letter to Santa at The Cross in November when the Christmas lights were switched on, asking for a new swimming pool!
She told the Dispatch: “I am extremely heartened by this news.
“Community council have continually raised concerns about Forfar pool; we have never let up.
“It is absolutely wonderful. If this comes to fruition, which I sincerely hope it does, it will be superb, absolutely superb for the people of Forfar and surrounding area.
“There’s a lot going on in Forfar in the sports world. I would like to think community council can take part in the wider consultation, any way we can.”
Mrs Ross spoke of on-going problems at Forfar Swimming Pool and the feeling in the town that Forfar was the “poor relation” and was being “sold short.”
She added: “Hopefully it’s Forfar’s turn. After what I said on Thursday night about my letter to Santa, I am a believer!
“If Forfar Academy (pictured) is the preferred site then it would be wonderful as it could be used by the school children, along with the all-weather pitch.
“I am absolutely gobsmacked, absolutely delighted!”
Let us know what you think of plans for a “community campus” in Forfar. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us on facebook - www.facebook.com/forfardispatch or on twitter - www.twitter.com/forfar_dispatch