THE new owner of Buckhaven’s Free Gardners Hall has set out its blueprint for how it is going to operate the College Street building.
The Free Gardners Hall Steering Group plans to create an arts and culture hub for the town with the onus on community groups coming forward and dictating what the building is used for.
The steering group was recently revealed as being the successful bidder for the former Fife Council property, after it was sold by the local authority under its community ownership scheme, and has wasted no time – having already been in touch with local organisations such as Kinetic.
Throughout the rest of 2012 the steering group is aiming to find more interested parties to create a management board, which will work collectively to investigate the best structure for the hall to progress under, such as a social enterprise or a registered charity.
Linda Judge, of the steering group, told the Mail The Beehive will differ from traditional community centres as its users will have more ownership of it.
Instead of renting an empty hall for one hour a week, the idea is that groups using it will be able to apply for funding for their own equipment and carry out work in the hall to tailor it to their individual needs, in a bid to make it feel like a home and a purpose built venue for a number of groups.
Ms Judge said: “The whole key to us is working together to make the most of the facilities we have got because at the moment we are not doing that.
“We don’t plan to apply for funding to develop the building for six to eight months. We need to prove that the community want is there. If that doesn’t happen then we will have to look at other ways.
“The first year is all about how we will manage the building and how we can make it work.”
The only block the steering group has put on future users is those wanting to use it for sports.
The group’s Blair Denwette explained The Beehive was instead about showcasing another aspect of local talent.
He added: “This area of Fife has huge resources.
“Collectively we should be proud of the area instead of being negative.
“People should see it as a beautiful rose instead of a thorn”
Throughout the rest of the year it is hoped the hall will be used for a number of events to allow people to see its potential.
In August it will take part in the first ever Central Fife open studios project, where local artists will throw open the doors to their homes and studios to display their work.
The Beehive will be used as a space for exhibiting a range of work from some of the participants and those without studio space.
•To find out more about the group visit www.buckhavenbeehive.org.