Victory Hall faces renewed sale fears

Victory Hall, St Andrews could soon be sold off if no groups come forward. (Picture: Richard Law)
Victory Hall, St Andrews could soon be sold off if no groups come forward. (Picture: Richard Law)

Victory Memorial Hall in St Andrews could soon be sold if no groups can be found to take it over.

Fears that the building could be disposed of as part of Fife Council cost-cutting measures were first raised in 2016.

Since then no group or organisation has come forward to take on the historic hall and the Fife authority has now stepped up its efforts find a solution for the building.

The move comes as part of the council’s bid to make budget savings and deal with a 10-year repairs backlog, estimated to total £209 million.

The building is one of several, including St Monans Town Hall, Cupar Corn Exchange, Elie and Earlsferry Town Hall and the Town Hall and Victoria Halls in Auchtermuchty, which could soon be on the ‘for sale’ list.

But St Andrews councillor Brian Thompson said there is still a window of opportunity and has urged groups to come forward. “The harsh reality is that the money just isn’t there, to keep these buildings open would mean cuts elsewhere.”

“There is still some time before a final decision comes before councillors, but we are where we are and simply keep halls open will mean depriving funding for other key services,” said Cllr Thompson.

“We’ve accumulated buildings over decades and many are no longer planned around what people need now,” said Tim Kendrick, community planning manager.

“The council looked carefully at all of our buildings, considering running and maintenance costs, how they are used and the needs of the local community.

“Councillors thought about better ways to sustain local services and identified buildings which can be sold, buildings which could be used in a different way, and buildings which should be kept to deliver council and community services.”

However, the council said its drive to reduce its number of buildings may not necessarily mean closure.

“We have already seen some halls and centres successfully transferred to local communities that have access to funding and resources that just aren’t available to the council, “ said Mr Kendrick.

“We want this to continue and funding has been set aside through the Community Asset Renewal and Transfer Fund to support community groups with this.”