Campus welcomed, but there are some concerns

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The update on the project scope if the community campus at the new Brechin High School has been welcomed by Brechin councillor Mairi Evans, although she has been left concerned about the affect this may have on other key council-run facilities in Brechin (writes Shona Beaton).

At the meeting of Angus Council’s neighbourhood services committee it was decided to opt for the enhanced community campus approach, with one of the advantages being that it would provide the opportunity for review of the management of Council assets within the Brechin area to ensure that best value is being secured.

This has set off alarm bells with the councillor who is concerned that this may mean that services currently being provided within Brechin will be moved to the High School.

Also an area of concern to Mairi was another advantage – sports and recreational facilities in the burgh will be enhanced to sportscotland standards, also supporting youth development work.

Mairi explains how she is concerned but still positive about the plans of an enhanced community campus in Brechin: “I fully support the enhanced community campus because if we are getting that sort of money we may as well make it the biggest and the best that it can be.

“But I do worry about when they talk about the future of the best value of council assets in Brechin it does make me worried about the future of assets particularly the City Hall, library, Damacre Centre and the leisure centre.

“I asked if they were going to be duplicating services up at the high school and at the leisure centre or does that mean that you are looking to merge the two.

“The answer they gave was that they would be looking to possibly do that in the future but they do not give any definite answers just now.

“I thought it was unfair to flag up the a statement like that without actually talking about what assets what could be at risk in the future but I did not get an answer about that.

“It would be a different story if they were building the High school bang in the centre of Brechin. It is the location of the school that is the issue.

“Although it is maybe only 15 minutes up the road, that is a big difference to some people, especially in a small town.

“If you take the leisure centre away from its current location it leaves practically nothing down that stretch of the bottom part of the town.

“It would be the equivalent in Forfar as saying you were going to move everything out to Orchardbank, what would people in Forfar say?”