MSP calls for more support for Fife town’s culture and history

Jenny Gilruth MSP met with Linda Ballingall, chairman of Glenrothes & Area Heritage Centre to discuss better support.
Jenny Gilruth MSP met with Linda Ballingall, chairman of Glenrothes & Area Heritage Centre to discuss better support.

A Fife MSP has hit out at the lack of financial support offered by Fife Council to Glenrothes organisations striving to preserve the area’s history.

Jenny Gilruth, Mid Fife and Glenrothes MSP, has called for more support to be given towards the local history and culture of her constituency, adding that the council’s reduced funding towards the forthcoming popular Doors Open Day events was “concerning”.

With only two venues from her constituency featured in the Doors Open event, the MSP added: “There should not be an inequality of provision in how we celebrate Fife’s culture – it’s important that we celebrate all that Fife has to offer and not just the usual suspects.”

Her comments followed a visit to the Glenrothes and Area Heritage Centre where she discussed its work and offered her support.

“It’s remarkable that the Heritage Centre offers the service that it does, given that it currently survives only on donations,” the MSP said.

“The service provided is invaluable.

“I’m calling on Fife Council to consider how they can better support the Heritage Centre and other initiatives in the town as we head into its 70th year.”

A lack of support for the Centre by many of the town’s councillors since it opened in 2013, and no funding from the Glenrothes Area Committee, has left volunteers disappointed while other social groups and organisations have been seen to prosper.

“I can count on one hand the number of Glenrothes councillors who have stepped across the door this year,” said Linda Ballingall, Heritage Centre chairman.

“It’s utterly frustrating to see groups get five figure sums for benefit of its members while we serve the entire community and get little, if any, support from those who are elected to represent Glenrothes.”

Despite attracting more than 40,000 visitors to events since 2010, Mrs Ballingall said the centre had received no more than £1000 in small funding increments in the seven years since it started.