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AN abandoned church dating back to the 19th century is to be given a new lease of life as a pool hall. The Old East Free Church in Brechin, Angus, will once again be packed with regulars, who will this time be worshipping at the altar of the popular sport. Local councillors have approved controversial plans to change how the A-Listed building in Panmure Street is used. It will feature a bistro and a top-floor pool room. Concern had been raised that proposals put forward by Kashif Rashid would compromise the historic integrity of the building. However, the issue was resolved after Historic Scotland offered advice on how the property could be converted. The church was built in 1856 for £31,000 by architect firm, The Hays of Liverpool. Church leaders at the time called on the giving souls of Brechin. They held a bazaar and raised £743 for the construction. Steve Robb, of Historic Scotland, said: "We are keen to see the reuse of this important building at risk."
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