Could the McMillan Hall go into community ownership?

Newton Stewart's McMillan Hall
Newton Stewart's McMillan Hall

A SUGGESTION has been made to ensure the community retain use of Newton Stewart’s McMillan Hall in the event of a future shake-up of council services.

Early budget-saving indications in 2010 showed that the current one-stop shop held in the McMillan Hall could be relocated to the town’s library, leaving the landmark building at Dashwood Square liable to closure.

But at Monday evening’s Cree Valley Community Council meeting, chairman John McNaught asked the council’s newly-appointed principal officer for facilities, Karen Brownlie, whether there would be scope for retaining the hall.

He said: “Would the community be able to take over the hall? I’m sure I’ve seen this elsewhere and I think this community be keen to look at that.”

Ms Brownlie replied: “I’ve certainly seen that happen before and it’s something we could probably look at if the situation called for that.”

John replied: “Good, because it’s my understanding that the McMillan Hall was gifted to the people of the Newton Stewart, so it should be up to them what happens to it.”

Ms Brownlie added that she is still in the process of gathering information on which halls in the area belong to whom and which facilities within them are required, adding that there may be little need for kitchen facilities within the McMillan Hall.

Councillor Alistair Geddes added that tribute must be paid to Miss Brownlie for her “co-operative support” in the recent issue of obtaining a 3G pitch for the Mid Galloway area.

He said: “Karen has worked with us on the football pitch issue and has been fighting for a 3G pitch in Mid Galloway, for which we’re all grateful and we wait in anticipation for the end result.”

Chairman John McNaught added: “Football is alive and kicking around here and he more facilities we have to encourage youngsters to play on, the better.”