Funding bid is key to future:
Shopmobility

Fife Shopmobility: from left: Kath Robertson, assistant manager; Tom Gibson, support worker, Lynda McIlravie, volunteer and Phyllis McIntyre, manager
Fife Shopmobility: from left: Kath Robertson, assistant manager; Tom Gibson, support worker, Lynda McIlravie, volunteer and Phyllis McIntyre, manager

A charity which provides a vital service to disabled people is hopeful its latest funding bid will be successful - otherwise it will have to shut down its new premises in the town’s main shopping complex.

Shopmobility, which already operates a base in the Thistle Street car park, has asked Kirkcaldy area committee to consider an application for additional funding for the rest of this financial year, to ensure it can continue its services from its recently-opened second outlet in the Mercat.

But after discussing the report, which went before yesterday’s meeting (Wednesday), the committee decided more information was required and agreed Council officers should further discuss funding options and how money from the area budget could be used to help.

Members agreed an updated report should be brought back to the committee’s next meeting on January 22 so a final decision on Shopmobility’s funding bid could be made.

The charity submitted its annual funding bid to the Council in March this year and included its intention to set up the service from the Mercat, but this application was unsuccessful.

However, Shopmbility managed to secure additional funding from other sources as well as its own fundraising, so it could provide a basic level of service for the past six months. It will now submit a revised application to Council officers to set out what funds it needs to see it through to next March.

Councillor David Ross said: “We need to find a sustainable solution. The area budget does not fund ongoing revenue but we can look at what contribution it can make. Transportation needs to have a role in this. We accept the financial difficulties but we should be creative; we want to have this service in Kirkcaldy.”

Phyllis McIntyre, Shopmobility manager, said: “It was a positive meeting. It is good to see the area committee and transportation working together to find a solution so that Shopmobility can continue to benefit its customers in the town centre.”