First phase of County Buildings work complete

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The first phase of a £2 million project to refurbish Cupar’s County Buildings has been completed.

Repairs to the roof have been carried out at an estimated cost of £250,000 and scaffolding taken down from both the outside and the inside of the building.

Artworks in the County Hall, including portraits of General John Hope by Henry Raeburn and Thomas Erskine by David Wilkie, were due to be re-reinstated this week after undergoing light restoration work.

The second phase of the project, which involves refurbishing the main office accommodation and revamping the local office, is due to get under way this summer and will take around nine months to complete.

A planning application for the work was approved at the last meeting of north east Fife area committee, which had relocated to Elmwood College while roof repairs were being carried out at the County Buildings but which will return to the County Hall for its April meeting.

Jonathan Miles, team leader with Fife Council’s corporate asset management service, said: “The first part of the refurbishment has gone according to plan and within the timescale we set.

“The next phase of investment proposed in County Buildings focuses on refurbishment of the main office areas and will bring the building up to the same standard as we’re achieving elsewhere in Fife.

“As part of this activity we propose to undertake work to the external cladding, windows and doors and the fire escape.

“We are also proposing a comprehensive refurbishment of the local office.”

He added: “Staff working in the County Buildings will remain in the building while the office refurbishment takes place.”

The project is part of a Fife-wide office rationalisation programme that aims to save the local authority around £2.6 million a year in running costs and raise a further £12 million through the sale of redundant buildings.

At present, a total of 139 staff work in the County Buildings, and when the refurbishment is complete it will provide accommodation for 221.