A vital library facility in one of Fife’s most deprived communities has been saved - thanks to two of the town’s leading tenant groups.
Glenwood Library in Glenrothes looked almost certain to close as part of Fife Council’s demands on Fife Cultural Trust (FCT) to cut a total £1.3 million from its budget.
Angry residents argued that the closure would have delivered a further devastating blow to the west of the town, less than two years after the closure of Tanshall Primary School, and called for it to be retained.
But fears grew that the Council would press on with plans to relocate the library in a nearby high school or close the facility altogether.
Now an ambitious business plan drawn up by two leading tenant organisations – Glenrothes Area Residents Federation (GARF) and West Glenrothes Tenant’s Association – which would not only retain the existing library facility, but also utilise the building turning it into a ‘community hub’, has this week been accepted by the Trust.
“This is a huge victory for the people of west Glenrothes,” said Lesley Bain, chairman of the west Glenrothes group, who has headed the proposal.
“It would have been a disaster had this vital facility been allowed to close.
“The community deserves much better than is currently been offered to this part of the town.
“We are relieved that common sense has prevailed and that our proposal has been taken seriously,” he added.
And delight at the news was echoed by Ian Roberson, chairman of Glenrothes Area Tenants Association, who called the decision “a triumph” for residents.
“We’ve demonstrated our commitment to the community not just to save the library, but to give them the sort of muti-functional facility that people in this need,” said Mr Robertson.
“It’s good news for both tenants organisations too bringing us both into the heart of the community.
“I will also give people the sort of facility that they can call their own.”
With the business plan now having gained the approval of the Trust, it’s expected that the plans will be given full ratification by the town’s councillors when it comes before the area committee in the coming months.
And with no obstacles expected to derail the plans, the new ‘hub’ is expected to be in full operation by March 2017.