Cosmos gets fired up over cuts in funding

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ANNIVERSARY celebrations this year at the Cosmos Communtity Centre, St Andrews, have been marred by the disclosure that it has suffered a series of cuts in its funding - but supporters and users are not taking it lying down.

Staff and members of the management committee are gearing up to organise a series of fundraising events to hopefully soften the blow of the loss of finance to the popular centre in Abbey Walk, which attracts hundreds of people through its doors every week.

The centre, which marked its 40th birthday earlier this year with a special open day programme, is a voluntary organisation providing facilities for recreation, leisure and a further education opportunities for people of all ages in and around St Andrews.

At present, it receives part funding from Fife Council towards the maintenance of the building and some staff salaries, but the rest of its income is generated through the hire of facilities and fund raising.

Local Fife Councillor Bill Sangster, chairman of the centre’s management committee, told the Citizen it had lost approximately £4200 towards staffing as a result of the local authority’s community services staff restructuring, as well as a further £2500 towards its overheads following a 6.8 per cent reduction in recurring grant funding - and further cuts are being discussed for the next couple of years.

IMPACT

He added: ”This will have an impact on the Cosmos and it is hoped to increase our income by encouraging people to hire the facilities at the centre.

“For a community use facility which is used by around 1000 people every week and tries to ensure an affordable venue for activities to cover all aspects of leisure and further education, we have to raise our funding from other sources now.

“That is why we are advertising to hire our meeting rooms and sports hall etc., and we also hope to organise family discos. There is the possibility of car boot sales being held during the winter months.”

The sports hall is an excellent venue for individuals and clubs, while the multi-purpose activities’ area is ideal for parties, larger meetings and dance/fitness etc. The meeting rooms are perfect for smaller groups and classes that can seat around 15–20 people and it is proposed to install internet access there.

The coffee bar is open to members of the public and centre users and two internet access computers are on site. The facilities can also be hired at weekends, depending on availability.

Said one staff member: ”If you are planning a special occasion, an event or needing a venue for a recreational activity or meeting then the Cosmos can provide comfortable, spacious facilities at an affordable cost.”

The Cosmos also has a 15-seater minibus available for hire to local groups and organisations. Contact the centre on 01334 474140).