Broughty castle threatened with closure in a bid to cut costs

The castle’s lease would be terminated and returned to Historic Environment Scotland.The castle’s lease would be terminated and returned to Historic Environment Scotland.
The castle’s lease would be terminated and returned to Historic Environment Scotland.
Broughty Castle could be one of three facilities to close under proposals put forward by local authority chiefs.

Leisure and Culture Dundee (LACD) is looking to cease operating three major services in a bid to save around £500,000 each year. A public consultation has been launched aiming to get the public’s views on the proposals, which also include the Caird Park golf courses, and the Mills Observatory

During this year’s budget setting, Dundee City Council dipped into reserves to secure the immediate future of the facilities. But ruling councillors said their £620,000 investment would happen while consultation on various service proposals takes place.

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It is hoped the six-week consultation may identify alternative operators, funding streams or uses for the facilities. Failing this, the observatory would be closed and the golf course land become open space managed by the council. The lease for Broughty Castle Museum would also be terminated and returned to the building owner, Historic Environment Scotland.

The closure proposals have sparked ire from opposition councillors, who have called for the facilities to be saved.

Lib Dem group leader Fraser Macpherson said: “Unfortunately, the SNP has effectively only given a stay of execution of a year and there’s this sort of Sword of Damocles held over the observatory, golf course and castle. We are of the view that they are all vital facilities.

"Broughty Ferry Castle is quite clearly a historic monument and the observatory is one of the very few municipality observatories in the whole of the UK.”

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A council spokesperson said: “Proposing to close services and properties is not something that we do lightly. At the same time, we have a responsibility to focus our shrinking public funds on where they make the biggest difference to all of our citizens.

“Before any final decisions are taken, it is essential that we understand what implementing these proposals would mean for the community. And we want to make sure we have fully explored alternative ways to use the buildings, deliver the services or secure external funding.”

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