AFTER years of trying to secure more permanent accommodation to help people in the Links area of Kirkcaldy, Linktown Action Centre is preparing to move into the nearby Philp Hall.
And it already has ambitious plans to develop and refurbish the building to accommodate more facilities to help residents of all ages in the area.
The centre is currently housed in portable huts in the grounds of the former Fife Council social work premises in Saunders Street.
However with the Council planning to sell off the land, the centre has been seeking a new home for some time.
Last week the management committee received the welcome news that it was to take over the Philp Hall under the local authority’s Community Ownership scheme.
Shane Halstead, chairman of the management committee said: “We want to thank Fife Council and the local elected members for their assistance in making this possible.
“This will not only secure a community centre for the Linktown and Invertiel area, but will provide an opportunity for us to increase the range of services we can provide.
“We want to focus on what can be done for the youngsters; we also want to look at tackling disadvantage and inequality by creating the chance to gain new skills through training, volunteering and employment.
“We have ambitious plans for the building, and, now that the Philp Hall is owned by the local people, we would hope to attract funding to refurbish the building to a standard that it will be an asset to the community.”
Gary Daniell, community resources team leader, added: “Fife Council is pleased to support the community asset transfer and looks forward to seeing the group develop the wide range of programmes it currently has on offer.”
John Farmer, community development worker at the centre has worked tirelessly on the plans to find better accommodation for the centre’s many users.
He said: “The building as it stands is not really fit for purpose and between now and the end of April when we plan to move in, we will be looking for grants to do it up and refurbish it completely to make it suitable for the many things we want to be able to offer the local community.
“We’ve already had an architect draw up plans for what we would like to see, including a mezzanine level to give us extra space.
“Top of our list will be introducing more facilities for youngsters in the area, hopefully including a community cafe where people of all ages can come and meet with their friends. This would also provide valuable training and employment opportunities in the area.
“We want to know what local people would like to see going on, so there will be community consultation.
“We also want to offer more access to computers for people who don’t have them, along with training courses to help increase people’s employment opportunities.”
David Torrance, MSP, added: “I am sure with the guidance and enthusiasm, this facility will provide the services needed in the Linktown area and I will fully support them.”