Anstruther work starts despite funding delay

Councillor Elizabeth Riches, Lib Dem, dep leader of Fife Council
Councillor Elizabeth Riches, Lib Dem, dep leader of Fife Council

A GROUP which is looking to transform Anstruther’s Murray Library into a backpackers’ hostel will have to wait until after the local council elections on May 3 to find out if it has won further funding.

The Murray Library Trustees already has the money in place to renovate the main building, so it is capable of offering overnight accommodation for up to 36 people, but is relying on a grant from Fife Council’s Investment Strategy Group (ISG) to convert the building’s former snooker hall into a suite of five creative industry rooms.

It was originally thought this would be decided at a meeting on March 20 but Councillor Elizabeth Riches, who is chair of the Murray Library Trustees, told the Mail this is no longer the case but added it hasn’t stopped work moving forward.

She said: “We haven’t had the final word on the money yet but what we have got is the scaffolding up on the building and what that means is we are able to get work carried out on the structure sooner rather than later.

“What they have started doing is internal and structural surveys as well having done a lot of internal work and they must just be about ready to start the external.

“I think it’s a very exciting time for the town because it’s a prominent building. The first stage the backpackers’ hostel, I’m convinced, will bring business into the town. It isn’t just going to be the summer as we get people on the coastal walk almost all year round so I think it will be well used.”

Ms Riches added the Trustees would await ISG’s decision before creating a new constitution.