As the demolition of Tanshall Primary School began this week, community leaders have said it’s time to move on - and look to the future.
That’s the view of the members of the Community Help At Tanshall (CHAT) group, which has big plans for the precinct.
Demolition experts moved in this week to start knocking down the school building where CHAT was once based.
It was a sight that saddened many local residents who campaigned for over a year to keep the school open.
But for Euan Howells, CHAT volunteer and the parent who led the ‘Save Tanshall School’ campaign, he says it’s time to build upon the spirit that galvanised the community during that campaign.
“It’s undoubtedly a sad sight and strangely ironic that the CHAT office that was the hub for the campaign to save Tanshall school, has been the first part of the building that has now been demolished,” Euan told the Gazette.
“But we must move on. We have plans to expand CHAT and that will in turn mean better benefits for the wider community.”
It was feared that CHAT would fold following the closure announcement as part of Fife Council’s strategic review of school provision in the region.
But volunteers have continued to meet and they now have proposals to take over the use of the vacant tenants meeting room in Macedonia.
“A lot of people have worked tirelessly to make their community a better place and we are not going to give that up,” said Euan.
“We have a comprehensive business proposal that we’ve submitted to the Council and are confident this will safeguard CHAT’s future.”
With the west Glenrothes precincts of Tanshall and Macedonia in the top 15 per cent of the Scottish Index for Multiple Deprivation (SIMD), CHAT volunteers say it’s vital it remains a presence within that part of the town.
The group is working towards achieving charitable status and members say they now have financial support promised by Fife Council.
An extensive business plan has now been drawn up and presented to the local authority which is hoped will bolster the group’s chances of securing a permanent venue in which to work from. “Having a secure and long-term building in which we can be accessed by all aspects of the local community is vital and that’s our target for 2016,” said Euan Howells, CHAT volunteer.