Plans submitted to halt Glenwood library closure

Ian Robertson & Leslie Bain are approaching Fife Council with a charitable option to keep Glenwood Library open by taking it over and running it independantly.
Ian Robertson & Leslie Bain are approaching Fife Council with a charitable option to keep Glenwood Library open by taking it over and running it independantly.

An ambitious business proposal has been submitted to Fife Council in a last-ditch bid to save Glenwood library from closure.

Two of the town’s leading community groups, Glenrothes Area Resident’s Federation and West Glenrothes Tenant’s Association, have finalised their long-term plans which would not only keep the library open, but also bring the two organisations under one roof and maximise the use of the building by turning it into a ‘hub’ facility.

With a detailed financial proposal now submitted to Fife Council, those behind the rescue bid have an anxious wait until September before they find out if they have been successful.

“There is a very real and committed desire from all sections of the community to make this work and we are determined to make it happen,” said Leslie Bain, chairman of the West Glenrothes group.

“We are confident we have put the right plan together that will not only retain the library service, but will revitalise and maximise the use of the building.

“This community has already suffered a number of blows in recent times.

“It’s vital we don’t now lose the library facility too.”

The library had been one of four in the Glenrothes area earmarked for closure as part of a Fife-wide review of the service being carried out by Fife Cultural Trust.

The trust, which was ordered by Fife Council to find £800,000 of budget savings, lodged a proposal to close 16 libraries in a bid to achieve the necessary cuts.

Rather than close the facility in Glenwood, the only other option had been to relocate the service within Glenwood High School.

However, those behind the latest bid say their plan will keep the facility at the heart of the community it is designed to serve.

What is more, they now say they have cross party support for their plans from each of the four ward councillors.

“Each of the councillors who represent this part of Glenrothes have offered their backing to our proposal which lends weight to our argument that it was crucial the library was saved,” said Mr Bain.

If successful, the combined groups have until February 2017 to finalise the plans.

The current service was given a one-year reprieve by Fife Council in order to see if an alternative solution to closure could be found.

And if successful, the group says it will continue to employ a qualified librarian as part of its plans.