Greener Kirkcaldy has been awarded a grant of almost one million pounds form the National Lottery.
The Big Lottery Fund has awarded the Lang Toun charity £916,068 which will go towards creating a community hub in the former Central Library building on East Fergus Place.
Lauren Parry, senior development worker, said she was “over the moon” with the award, which will be used to turn the building into a community Food Hub.
She said: “It will be a place for people to come together to grow, cook, eat and learn.
“It will offer training, volunteer and work experience opportunities, and life-long learning around food production and preparation.”
The charity plans to offer a wide range of events, courses and workshops on all aspects of food and drink – plans include Beginners Bread-making, Indian Vegetarian Cooking and Eating Well on a Budget.
The Food Hub will also include a base for a food Coop promoting local seasonal produce, a pop-up community café, and it is hoped it could act as a distribution point for Kirkcaldy Food Bank.
Lauren said: “We aim to educate people on how they can eat healthily and easily whilst on a budget.”
Work will now begin on transforming the empty building. Lauren said: “It needs a lot of maintenance work done on it and we need to make it energy efficient to fit in with the Greener Kirkcaldy ethos.”
The Hub will be fitted out with a Community Kitchen and event space, and will have a small kitchen garden, as well as becoming a new base for Greener Kirkcaldy.
Suzy Goodsir, Greener Kirkcaldy Development Manager, said “We are really pleased to be able to take the Food Hub project forward and would like to thank players of the National Lottery for making it possible.
“The project will be open to everyone locally and will be a real asset to Kirkcaldy. I’m looking forward to getting the building work out of the way so that we can open our doors to the community and bring people together to learn about and share good food.”
The Food Hub is part of an ongoing project which includes developing a new Horticultural Training Centre at Ravenscraig Walled Garden, to improve facilities for their popular programme of courses, training and volunteer opportunities in gardening and growing your own fruit and vegetables.
Their plans are for a simple building created from recycled shipping containers which would give them an indoor classroom, along with a polytunnel and raised beds.
They’re currently working with their landlord at the site, Kirkcaldy Community Gardens & Allotments, to secure the final permissions they need to allow them to take this forward.
Maureen McGinn, Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chairman offered her congratulations.
“I am delighted that Greener Kirkcaldy has been successful in securing a Big Lottery Fund grant,” she said.
“The funding will make a big difference where it is needed most and I wish Greener Kirkcaldy every success as it goes on to develop and expand its project for the benefit of their local community.”
It is hoped the Hub will be ready to open in time for next summer.