Fife community project given massive funding boost

An artist's impression of what the new facility could look like.
An artist's impression of what the new facility could look like.

An ambitious project hailed as ‘a shining example of community spirit’ has been given a huge cash boost.

Councillors in north east Fife have unanimously agreed to give £250,000 towards helping transform the site of a disused steelworks in Tayport into a £2.2 million community hub and sports centre.

The group behind the project, Tayport Community Trust, has already been awarded over £1.5 million in funding, including £1.2 million in lottery cash.

It will hear how it has fared with other potential funders over the next few months.

The Trust was given planning permission last year to build the new hub and earlier this year received funding to demolish the former Abertay Works in Shanwell Road, which had become a dangerous eyesore.

Following the decision, Trust vice-chairman Richard Tough said he was ‘delighted’ with the outcome.

“This will really help our case with other funders,” he said.

“I feel this is a significant milestone and will energise the group even further in making this a successful project.”

A registered charity, Tayport Community Trust was established in 2008 with the aim of creating a fully accessible new building with space for community meetings and events, sports, arts, business and tourism facilities and a café.

It already runs the highly-successful Harbour Café as well as the PLANT group – People Learning About Nature in Tayport.

In its first year, it’s expected the hub will create six full-time jobs and offer six modern apprenticeships, three student placements and opportunities for 20 volunteers to develop skills and experience.

There are also plans to create a camp site adjoining the hub to help boost tourism. Nearby Tentsmuir Forest is the most visited forest in Scotland, attracting some 150,000 people a year.

Moving approval of the funding bid, Taybridgehead councillor Tim Brett said that the project was line with Scottish Government and Fife Council policy of encouraging communities to help themselves.

“This will not only benefit Tayport but north east Fife as a whole,” he commented.