THE TULLIBODY Community Development Trust is calling on residents in the area to back their push to safeguard the civic centre.

The group, which emerged from the Save Tullibody Public Park campaign, will hold a meeting next week to share its hopes for the building's future.

Members note that the civic centre has been highlighted in Clackmannanshire Council's budget proposals as one of a number of venues in the county that could be closed and made available for community ownership.

The trust would like to see people pull together in order to preserve the resource for the growing community and future generations.

Though still very early days for the group, it has nonetheless gained charity status and applications are underway for funding to develop a business plan and feasibility study for the centre and playing fields.

Janet Gowran, trust secretary, said: "Now is the right time for the community to come onboard and join us. We're meeting on Tuesday, January 23, in the Civic Centre at 7pm.

"Even if you haven't joined yet you can come along and find out about our aims and objectives and how you can be involved in any big or small way.

"We'll be presenting an architect's vision of how the future civic centre could look and operate. We're hoping to also have a guest speaker to talk us through the impacts of the proposed budget cuts."

The centre first opened in 1963 and is home to the toddlers, wrestlers, cadets, Tullibody Community Football Club, The Gardening Club and pensioners groups.

It houses the Tullibody Heritage Centre and hosts events organised by groups and clubs, along with the local authority's sports development team.

Tullibody CDT, which would like to explore the option of community ownership, is concerned that if people don't pull together the centre will be lost.

Charlie Watt, trustee, said: "We have written to all the politicians and local councillors representing our ward to ask for their support and we are urging the local community to get involved before it's too late."

The aims of the trust include meeting the social, cultural, educational and health aspirations of the town, along with endeavouring to have the public park put into trust to protect the greenspace.

At the meeting to be held next week there will also be wider discussions on the proposed council cuts and how individuals can express their views before the closing date Friday, February 2.

Everyone is welcome to head along and meet the friendly team; they welcome new ideas and initiatives and free refreshments will also be served.