THE GROUP BEHIND attempts to provide a new future for the abandoned Grant Lodge in Elgin’s Cooper Park is to apply for help from the Court of Session.
Friends of Grant Lodge was formed as a Trust in an effort to find a means of bringing the historic building back into use.
The building has lain empty and boarded up since it was ravaged by a fire in 2003, having served the town as its main library for many years since it was gifted to the people of Elgin 100 years earlier by Sir George Cooper.
On passing the Lodge to the town, Sir George attached a condition that it should always be used as a library or local history centre – but faced with no clear path for the future, Friends of Grant Lodge are to go to the Court of Session and seek an alteration to the original ‘deed of gift’ on the building.
That, they believe, would enable them much greater flexibility to generate income from the building as a social enterprise – and so ensure a brighter future for the lodge.
“It has been agreed that in the first instance we look to refurbish one floor – we believe that will be more feasible than doing the whole thing,” Alistair Kennedy, the chairman of Elgin Community Council and a member of the group said.
He added: “Trying to get that working will allow some more funding for future renovations – we are looking at a social enterprise to make some income for the building and want to alter the deed of gift, while allowing it to stay within the original idea.”
Mr Kennedy said that much depended on Councillors agreeing the changes and until that happened hands were tied – although the group hope to put their case to the Court of Session by the end of this year.