AMBITIOUS plans to overhaul Kirkcaldy Museum and Library have been downgraded after they were deemed “too difficult to undertake in practice”.
Artists’ impressions of what the new-look museum and gallery may be like after a £2 million refurbishment were met with huge enthusiasm when they were released by Fife Council last year.
However, this week the Press can reveal the original plans will not get the go ahead, with only some of the initial proposals being carried forward despite an increase in funding to £2.4m.
Dorothy Browse, service manager, said less glamourous parts of the project, including drainage, heating and roof repairs, had ended up costing more after in-depth investigations, meaning an ambitious new entrance way has been scrapped.
Despite this, Council bosses have promised the refurbished premises will still meet the original aims of the project - to deliver an excellent library, museum and gallery to Kirkcaldy.
Mrs Browse told the Press: “We’re naturally disappointed that it isn’t going to be possible to undertake the initial proposals in full. However, we know the revised scheme meets the most important original aims of the project, and that it will deliver an even more excellent Library, Museum and Gallery for the people of Kirkcaldy.”
Mrs Browse added that the refurbishments are “less glamourous, but they will make the building sustainable for the future, which is vital.”
The original plan, released in April last year, had an extension at the front, with proposals for a cafe which would open out at basement level into the War Memorial Gardens.
It was due to be finished by summer 2012, however, the plans have now been delayed, with proposals to finalise all works by 2013.
Museums bosses have been meeting with Kirkcaldy’s community councils to discuss the new plans, with the final meeting taking place at Kirkcaldy West Community Council last night (Wednesday).
The refurbishments will still see the relocation of VisitScotland’s Kirkcaldy visitor centre to the site. It is expected the major works will begin next spring, taking around a year to complete. The new plans are nearing completion, and will be on display in all Kirkcaldy area’s libraries and in the museum itself.
Staff are hoping to hear the views of community groups - anyone who would like more information should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.