The success of the first year of Fife Cultural Trust’s trading has been described as “spectacular” by one Glenrothes Councillor.
Cllr Kay Morrison said the range of services provided by the Trust had been “impressive and a huge achievement in spite of the challenges faced during the current economic climate”.
The comments came as the Trust’s chief executive Heather Stuart delivered an annual review of activites and performance in its first year up to October 2013.
And the Trust was roundly praised for its ability to secure around £2.7million worth of public funding and sponsorship last year.
“I’m awestruck at your ability to secure external funding in the way that you have,” said Cllr Ian Sloan.
Cllr John Beare added: “The challenge is now to build on that success and do even more.”
The newly established Trust, which manages cultural services including 47 libraries,12 museums and heritage venues, galleries and theatres on behalf of Fife Council, maintains that 95 per cent of all services provided are stil free at the point of entry.
It achieved a turnover in excess of £11million and employs 387 people across the region, but also delivered £698,000 worth of savings in 2012/13 and is expected to achieve a further £787,000 savings in 2014/15.
But the success was tempered with the need to combat declining book business at libraries across the Glenrothes area as visitor numbers continue to vary.
“The challenge is to do more as the public’s use of library services contines to evolve,” said Mrs Stuart.
“The issues surrounding welfare reform and the impact that has on the needs of individuals needs to be addressed and we’ll seek to mobilise resources to meet those needs.”
By the book - libraries’ progress
PITTEUCHAR LIBRARY: 5617 transactions, £30,069 operating costs.
LESLIE: 18,691 transactions, £18,691 operating costs
THORNTON: 8492 transactions, £12,980 operating costs.
ROTHES HALLS: 241,563 transactions, £145,386 operating costs.
GLENWOOD: 120,783 transactions, £145,924 operating costs.
CADHAM: 53,903 transactions, £26,824 operating costs.
MARKINCH: 15,735 transactions, £8315 operating costs.