Library saviour group press on despite concerns

Fears that those working to save Glenwood library were about to ditch rescue plans have eased after reassurances were given about the building's future.

Wednesday, 8th March 2017, 10:00 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:05 am
Lesile Bain, left with Ian Robertson outside the library the are working to save.
Lesile Bain, left with Ian Robertson outside the library the are working to save.

Two of the town’s leading community organisations – Glenrothes Area Residents Federation and West Glenrothes Residents Association – who want to move into the library and create a community hub, called an urgent meeting on Monday to discuss the project’s future.

Concerns had been growing for some time over what part the library would play in any future redevelopment of the Glenwood Shopping Centre site, and whether the long-term viability of taking on the library could be secured.

With a public charrette to discuss the centre’s future also planned, as well as the immediate uncertainty of what the May council elections could bring, activists have been considering whether to continue or pull out.

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“It’s been touch and go whether to carry on or walk away as there is a lot of uncertainty over Glenwood Centre’s long-term future,” explained Leslie Bain, chairman of the West Glenrothes group,

“We’ve been waiting for Fife Council to present us with a lease since November.

“We only received that on budget day two weeks ago, despite some councillors saying publicly that we were about to move in.

And Mr Bain hinted at a the possible redevelopment of the Glenwood area.

“With us only being allowed to lease the building there were concerns the building could be taken back or used as a bargaining chip with a potential developer,” he said.

“However, we are as reassured as we can be with the current administration that the hub will feature.”

Mr Bain said he has also received a similar reassurance from Fife’s SNP Group regarding its support for the library project, should it be in a position to form a new administration following May’s council election.

With Fife Cultural Trust set to close the library at the end of March, Mr Bain said there were still a number issues, including the installation of broadband and computers, before they could re-open the doors.

And with the library initially being run by volunteers, it would also be some time before they could consider full-time librarian positions.

“Ultimately we want to make those librarian posts full-time positions but other issues must be addressed first,” Mr Bain said.