A CONTENTIOUS plan that will see Fife’s libraries, museums and theatres all run by a trust has been given the green light by Fife Council.
Fife Cultural Trust will run the services instead of the local authority - saving it millions.
The move sparked debate when the plan was put before councillors at the housing and communities committee on Tuesday. It was passed - but with conditions attached.
The new trust will manage and operate libraries, arts, museums and archives on behalf of the Council, as well as theatre provision in the Kingdom, for ON at Fife (Adam Smith Theatre, Rothes Halls, Lochgelly Centre and Carnegie Hall) and The Byre Theatre.
It will be the fourth trust to be set up in the Kingdom, joining those for Sports and Leisure, Golf, and Coast and Coutryside.
Councillor Brian Goodall, chairman of the housing and communities committee and the Fife Cultural Consortium, the umbrella body for cultural planning in Fife, said: “Today’s decision will protect the future of culture and build on the strong cultural heritage that already exists in the Kingdom.”
Members heard that council-owned buildings will be leased to the trust, but artefacts and art works in the museums’ collections and archives will remain in the local authority’s hands.
Kirkcaldy councillor Neil Crooks backed a motion from fellow town councillor David Ross to delay any decisions until all Fife members had an opportunity to look at the plans.
He said: “This is a fairly sensitive issue. Given the significance of the change it would be my view that every councillor in Fife has an interest in this. The detail of it needs to involve a far wider audience than just this committee.”
Despite the motion to delay the decision, the plans were given the go-ahead, under the conditions that reports be conducted straight away on how best to deal with integrated libraries and that all councillors would be able to look at the proposals before contractual arrangements are made.