Leven’s Letham Glen looks like being the place to be this summer thanks to a newly opened drop-in community centre adding to its already growing number of facilities, reports PAUL CARDWELL.
The popular park has always boasted a host of wildlife and walking trails but has undergone a surge in popularity recently with the addition of an outdoor adult exercise area and a children’s playpark.
The latest addition is the brainchild of Mary Parry, of the Leven charity MyBus, which has turned the empty former nature hut in the glen into a craft centre and snack bar.
“I think it’s brilliant when you see how big it is inside,” said Ms Parry who has agreed a five-year lease with Fife Council.
“We wanted it as a craft centre and it has turned into somewhere that is not expensive where kids can play and their parents can have a coffee. Everyone is welcome.
“No other park in this area has a place to eat or just sit when you are out for the day.
“There hasn’t been a negative comment since we opened (just over two weeks ago). A lot of people say they never knew it was here or had forgotten about it.”
The hut, which is more the size of a small town hall, has already had a stream of visitors – from youngsters with their mums and dads to pensioners out on walks.
Inside, it is full of colour from users’ wares and artwork from students at Adam Smith College. The middle of the room is taken up by a large craft table where youngsters can enjoy painting fridge magnets, making ceramics and paper mache models with some of the hut’s volunteers.
To the front is a comfy seating area with sofas and a raised area to sit out in the sun.
And the hut benefits from a tuck shop style snack bar, offering hot and cold drinks as well as crisps, chocolate, ice creams and it even hires out footballs and cricket sets to park users.
As well as regular daily use the group is also planning one-off events such as duck races and is organising a music festival to take place in June.
Ms Parry continued: “As well as people dropping in, local groups can use it for the day and it can be hired out in the evenings for parties.
“We want users to tell us what they want from the hut and we are learning from each other all the time.”
The hut has been set up as a separate social enterprise from MyBus and although officially called Letham Glen Crafts Centre it has become more affectionately known as MyHut.
Funding for it came from the Scottish based social entrepreneur support project, Motivate to Innovate, which helped financially with the lease, first year’s rent and building warrant but staffing the hut, which is open from 10am-6pm, seven days a week, is a growing number of volunteers and work experience students.
Last opened regularly in 1984, the group brought the hut up to specification by painting the outside and cleaning up the inside, but one job still remains.
Ms Parry added: “An accessible toilet is still to be built. We are still fundraising for it but it would be great if local trades could offer their help.
“Plans have been passed by the council and we will plough any money we make back into the hut but we need some goodwill and funds.”
If you are able to help or would like to find out more about the hut’s uses pop in at anytime or email firstname.lastname@example.org