Funding cuts force youth group to close its doors

Buckhaven Theatre, Kinetic's venue in Lawrence Street.
Buckhaven Theatre, Kinetic's venue in Lawrence Street.

A HIGHLY successful and prominent Buckhaven-based youth project has been forced to close due to a lack of funding.

Kinetic, which was the trading name for Levenmouth YMCA, played a key part in the delivery of a wide range of out of school activities for youngsters for around 15 years.

However, the chairman of its board, Jim Houston, confirmed that a radical restructure forced on it at the turn of the year, due to a slashing in Fife Council funding, had failed to work out, and that the project was left with no option but to close.

The cut meant the organisation could not continue to deliver its Street:Live projects but, since then, it had tried to maintain its youth theatre activities.

Mr Houston said: “Dissolving the charity has been a regrettable and inevitable decision due to a lack of funding.

“The board of Levenmouth YMCA is sad and disappointed to see the work of Kinetic cease.”

Kinetic’s youth theatre was renowned locally and nationally and had worked with the Royal National Theatre and performed at the Aberdeen International Children’s Festival.

Street:Live saw Kinetic team with other organisations, including the police and the council, to offer diversionary activities targeted at those who may be at risk of creating anti-social behaviour.

Area councillor Alistair Hunter said he was sad to learn of its fate.

Cllr Hunter said: “I’m devastated that it’s gone. For a lot of young people, it was a path on to better things and we’ve had some who were part of Kinetic go on to become journalists, work in radio and also teaching.

“I’m hoping to have a meeting in a few weeks to see how we can move forward now.

“It’s highly important that, if the community values Kinetic, then people get behind it and make their voices heard.”

MSP David Torrance was another to speak of his regret that Kinetic had been forced to close, saying it had played a “vital part” in the community.

However, he added that he believed there had already been interest from community groups to step in and offer a replacement.

Mr Torrance said: “It’s very sad that a project like this has had to go out of business.

“I believe there are community groups interested in taking over and if anybody needs my help to get things running, then I’ll be happy to offer that.”

Despite Kinetic’s closure, artistic director Claire Bloomfield has announced that she intends to provide theatre workshops independently.

If any young people in the community would like to join Buckhaven Youth Theatre then please email Claire directly at c.bloomfield@yahoo.co.uk.