Plans announced for Silverburn House

Plans have been announced for Silverburn House.
Plans have been announced for Silverburn House.

Fife Council has announced plans to regenerate Leven’s Silverburn House.

It hopes to transform the derelict manor house into a training centre and a museum focusing on World War Two troops who trained in the grounds of the park.

The centre would offer horticulture and land-based training, with ambitions to teach motivational, practical and employability skills.

It would also provide accommodation for young people working in the training centre.

Lucinda McAllister, service manager for employability and employer engagement at Fife Council, said: “We feel if we can reincarnate the house as a training centre, it would be a good base for us to work with some of the most deprived people in the area. There’s also not a lot of residential facilities available to take young people out of the community.

“We feel this park could also be a great tool for us to regenerate the area.”

The announcement coincided with a visit from a Polish delegation, who visited the War Memorial in Leven before visiting Silverburn to hear about its history and the plans for its regeneration.

Polish troops, known as “silent and unseen”, were based at the house during the Second World War.

The museum would commemorate the Polish troops who were stationed at the centre, as well Scottish soldiers.

It is hoped this combination of Scottish and Polish heritage, as well as working in partnership with the Polish Government, will make it easier to secure funding.

Lucinda added: “The silent and unseen are held in very high regard not only in Poland, but also around Europe. If we have a museum commemorating the Scottish and Polish soldiers, people will come here.”

And speaking about bringing people to the area, she added: “We do see it as an attraction for Levenmouth. There is a whole mix of things we feel if we get right, it would be a great tourist attraction.”

The development comes as Fife Employment Access Trust (FEAT) revealed progress with its plans for the park.

It has secured a grant worth £50,000 from LEADER, which it will use to set up a campsite and employ a design team to work out the specifics of developing the park.

It hopes to have the campsite set up for the beginning of 2018.

The design team will also focus on developing the flax mill, which FEAT hopes to open in 2022.

Speaking about the plans for Silverburn House, Cllr Alistair Suttie, who joined the Polish delegation, and, as the former chair of Leven Community Council, played an important part in the addition of the war memorial, said: “It would be great. Anything that would bring these buildings back to life is a good thing. Silverburn is such a good location and a great resource. It’s a shame it has been left to decline. It has always been a great place to relax, but if we could open more of it, that would be fantastic.”

If you would like to volunteer at the park, call 01333 278775 or email jordan@silverburnpark.co.uk.