Fire ‘won’t stop park regeneration efforts’

Silverburn House after the fire.
Silverburn House after the fire.

“We will battle on” – that’s the message from the charity working to rejuvenate Silverburn Park following a fire last week.

Police Scotland has launched an investigation into the fire at Silverburn House, which has since been declared unsafe.

Plans had been announced last year to transform the derelict building into a training centre and museum focusing on the soldiers who trained in the grounds during World War II.

The plans were part of a wider regeneration of the park being led by Fife Employment Access Trust (FEAT) which, as well as tending to the park, has already created allotments and is planning to install a campsite and renovate the flax mill.

Duncan Mitchell, general manager of FEAT, said the organisation was “devastated and gutted” upon learning about the fire.

He added: “I want to thank the fire service for their operation.”

Mr Mitchell said plans for the campsite and flax mill would not be affected by the fire.

“It has galvanised us,” he said. “Initially we were gutted and it was a kick in the teeth.

“But you have to get on with it. Our Facebook page was packed with positive comments from the community about the work we are doing.”

Mr Mitchell said FEAT had received conditional offers of funding to install more CCTV in the park, following previous incidents.

A fire destroyed two storage facilities in the park in September 2017, while thieves targeted FEAT’s offices in the park in 2016.

Commenting on the fire at Silverburn House, Dave Paterson, community manager for Levenmouth, said: “A full assessment is required but we know that the roof has collapsed on to a large part of the building and it has been declared unsafe.

“It has now been fenced off and we’d urge visitors to the park to keep out of the closed off area.”

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Detectives are currently following a number of lines of enquiry and would urge anyone who may have been in the area of Silverburn Park during the evening of Monday, April 9, or the morning of Tuesday, April 10, or who has any information about this, to contact Leven CID via 101, quoting incident number 0479 of April 10, or report this anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

A meeting of the Friends of Silverburn group will take place at The Centre in Leven on April 25, beginning at 7pm.