Ambitious plans to transform a rundown Kirkcaldy community centre in one of the town’s most deprived areas have been put forward.
The proposals for Hayfield Community Centre would see it extended and modernised with many eco friendly improvements, including solar panels, to make it easier and cheaper to run.
They also include upgrading the interior with new kitchen facilities and a new toilet block, as well as extra space to provide more opportunities to work with families needing help in the Hayfield area.
And a large garden area would be incorporated, where local residents could grow their own fresh fruit and vegetables.
The voluntary committee has recently applied to take on a community education worker for two years to run gardening sessions as well as basic cookery classes to teach people to cook using produce from the garden.
Members of the community have had their say in a consultation programme which received good feedback, and their ideas have been incorporated into the plans which have been drawn up by Cupar-based Arc Architects, made possible through a development grant from the Big Lottery.
The centre is used by community groups every evening, with private functions often held at the weekends.
As well as a toddler group, the centre is used by local pensioners, a Women’s Guild, a Gospel group, dance and exercise classes and a dominoes league. It is also available at weekends for private parties, and has hosted several wedding receptions.
Rosemary Potter, secretary of the volunteer management committee for the centre, said: “It was a boost to us to hear people saying how they valued the centre and its services, and it encouraged us to try to improve the facilities for them.
“We are delighted with the plans, but they are only the first stage on the road to achieving this great new centre. We’ve a long way to go yet.”
Once planning approval has been won, the next stage will be to apply to the Big Lottery’s Community Spaces Programme for a grant of up to £250,000. The committee is also in the process of extending the building’s lease with owners, Fife Council.
“The centre brings the whole community together,” said Jackie Rowan, a local resident and vice chairman of the committee. “We really hope we can all work together to make this wonderful vision happen for the good of everyone in Hayfield.”
The committee wants to hear from local people in the community who support its vision.
Anyone who would like to see the plans can call (01592) 265499 during the day or (01592) 640592 evenings. Constructive suggestions are also welcomed by the architects - feedback forms are available at the centre.