Church set to take over Low Port Outdoor Center in Linlithgow

Councilors from the West Lothian Asset Transfer Committee have agreed to support the transfer of the empty building and support a two-year fundraising project by the church to carry out the £1.5million improvement works pounds needed for the building. The committee also agreed a grant of £76,000 to fund a team to take the project forward and raise funds to manage and invest in the building following the agreed transfer for the sum of £1.

The church will now have to make a final decision on whether to go ahead with the project

Low Port, an outdoor activity center built in the 1970s, was last run by West Lothian Leisure Trust. He gave notice of resignation in early 2021 as part of his own restructuring plan. The building was mothballed in June last year and marketing options were considered.

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Linlithgow’s Low Port Center is set to be taken over by a town church.

The church wants to expand its community activities throughout the week and move to premises that can be used more flexibly for these purposes. In a lengthy proposal document, he outlined the practical and social benefits of taking over Low Port as a community asset.

As well as religious worship, St John’s would use Low Port for associated activities and groups, including toddler groups, a community cafe, youth groups and a monthly meeting club for the elderly. Other groups that will be housed in the low port include the New Well Charity Group, the Ladies Choir, sports groups, youth groups and art classes.

Additionally, the church would work with organizations to tackle poverty in the town including 1st Step and strengthen links with the West Lothian Food Bank, Food Network and CAP Debt Centre.

A report to the Asset Transfer Committee concluded: “The Asset Transfer Application submitted by St Johns is considered to represent the best available option for the use of this property. There are no reasonable grounds to deny this request.

Linlithgow councilor Sally Pattle told a council executive meeting: “Can I just say how delighted I am with the decision, it’s something we all look for at Linlithgow. “

St John’s Church has had a presence in Linlithgow since the early 1900s and has a church building in Union Road.

The church has outgrown this building and regularly uses Linlithgow Academy for Sunday morning services.

Jerry B. Hatch