Council looks to sell Kirkcaldy community buildings

Cllr. Neil Crooks (Pic by Fife Photo Agency)

Cllr. Neil Crooks (Pic by Fife Photo Agency)

Fife Council is appealing to local community groups in the Kirkcaldy area to take over some of the buildings currently under its ownership.

The future of community buildings in Kirkcaldy was discussed by councillors at a meeting of Kirkcaldy Area Committee last week and now the authority is offering to support to any group which comes forward to take over the running of the buildings on the list.

A review earlier this year highlighted that many community buildings are under used, no longer fit for purpose or don’t meet the needs of local people.

A maintenance backlog will also result in substantial costs to the council over the next 10 years if it was to maintain all the buildings it currently owns.

It has identified buildings which can be sold, used in a different way, and which should be kept to deliver a wider range of council and community services.

The buildings available for possible lease or transfer to the community are; Chapel Neighbourhood Centre, Raeburn Centre, Dysart Centre, Dysart Community Hall, Dysart Town Hall, Dunnikier Community Centre, Kinghorn Community Centre, Glebe Park Centre, Overton Community Centre, Kirkcaldy East Local Office, St Clair Hall, Dysart Tolbooth, Hayfield Community Centre, Unity Hall, Burntisland, Young Hall, Burntisland, Burntisland Local Office, Upper Hall and Burntisland, Burgh Chambers, Burntisland,

Pathhead Halls and Dunnikier OAP Centre are disposal/sale, whilst Kirkcaldy North Local Office, Templehall Library, and Templehall Learning Centre have been identified for future disposal should funding be secured to incorporate services run from these buildings in a refurbished Templehall Community Centre.

Committee chairman, Cllr Neil Crooks, said: “It’s inevitable that we reduce the number of buildings we have, but we want to make sure we are still able to accommodate all the activities that currently take place in our local communities, and hopefully encourage more use of those facilities that we retain.

“This will also let us focus our capital investment for major improvements on the most important local facilities, bringing them up to the standard we want to see.”

Cllr Crooks stressed that the council will offer support to any group taking over the ownership of a building.

“Reducing the number of buildings the council runs doesn’t mean closing them all,” he said. “We have already seen some halls and centres successfully transferred to local communities that have access to funding and resources that aren’t available to the council.

“We want this to continue and have already set aside funding through the Community Asset Renewal and Transfer Fund to support community groups with this. We want to work with the local communities to develop a sustainable use of these buildings.”

You can register interest at www.fifedirect.org.uk/communitybuildings.