A beehive of activity in Buckhaven

The Beehive still carries the signage of the Free Gardeners Hall
The Beehive still carries the signage of the Free Gardeners Hall
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It may not look like much has changed but the Buckhaven Beehive group has been buzzing around in the background lately in its bid to transform the former Free Gardners Hall.

Since having its bid for the unused College Street building accepted by Fife Council under the community ownership scheme in April last year, the group has continued trying to attract interest and drawn sample plans for how it hopes to turn it into an art and culture hub.

But its main aim remains to get the community involved and the group is still looking for other groups or people to come forward to say how they could use the building.

The project is led by Blair Denwette and Linda Judge who explained to the Mail the running of the hall will eventually be managed by a committee known as a ‘project team’.

Each hall user - whether it be an artist, music group or zumba class etc. - is expected with other similar users to set up a working group where they can discuss their needs for the building.

These groups will then pool their ideas and take them to the project team which will make decisions in the best interests of everyone.

By working like this, smaller groups who don’t have premises or enough members will be able to access funding they currently can’t.

It is hoped enough users will have come together to form the various groups and teams by October this year when funding and planning applications can be made. The building work, which is estimated to cost around £1.5m, would then be carried out in 2014.

Blair told the Mail: “We are now at the point of developing and delivering.

“The real challenge for us at this moment in time is getting people to realise it is now a building owned by the community.

“We have occupancy and we will develop it but the community has to come on board

“What we are looking to do is develop a range of activities over the next year which will identify the potential of the building.”

The hall has already attracted interest from some local groups with Strike a Chord music project particularly keen to be involved.

But Blair stressed they are willing to hear from anyone who fits the remit.

He added: “One of the problems we have hit in the past is when you say ‘arts and culture’ people think of it in an elitist sense.

“What we are trying to do is break that down into ‘whatever expression people use to communicate’ - that can be though dance, poetry, music, art or even zumba.”

Any group which thinks it may be able to use the Buckhaven Beehive is asked to contact Linda Judge on 01592 591248 or buckhavenbeehive@virginmedia.com.