A scorching attack has been made on Levenmouth councillors for approving a request for more money to help propel the Silverburn park project.
Members of the Levenmouth area committee agreed recently to a further £7500 for a bid by FEAT (Fife Employment Access Trust) to renovate the former flax mill and create a hostel, camping area and cafe.
However, local man Glenn Allan said the decision was “absolutely incredulous” and “an affront” because there had been little visible progress so far with FEAT’s plans, while the group’s intentions were not widely enough known.
Mr Allan also said Leven Community Council, of which he is secretary, should have been consulted over the financing request, although he stressed he was speaking for himself and not articulating the LCC’s view.
At the area committee meeting, Councillor Ally Hunter had expressed reservations over the bid, despite agreeing to it, and said FEAT should not keep coming back to the area budget for funding.
Mr Allan said the public should have had a better idea about FEAT’s business plan proposals, while a “one-off” £35,000 had already been pledged for staffing costs.
“I, like everyone else in Leven, would love to see Silverburn enhanced and further used, but what I can’t accept is Leven’s money being thrown away for over two years and yet still not one thing to show for it.Glenn Allan
“We have ‘given away’ over £40k to this organisation and not one thing has been done in Silverburn – not one,” he added. “It is over two years since they had Silverburn allocated to them on the premise they came forward with their business case and objectives.
“I, like everyone else in Leven, would love to see Silverburn enhanced and further used, but what I can’t accept is Leven’s money being thrown away for over two years and yet still not one thing to show for it.
“I regularly walk my friends’ dogs there and absolutely nothing has developed in Silverburn.”
FEAT manager Duncan Mitchell has stressed the revitalisation of Silverburn is very much a long-term project, although progress was being made on all fronts, and he understood the desire for visible change after a certain time.
The group – very grateful to Fife Council for its support – was keeping Fife House officials in the loop and expected to hear next week if it had been successful with a £25,000 request from the Architectural Heritage Fund (ATF) for the flax mill venture, he added. FEAT also hoped soon to have office premises and establish its staff and volunteers in one of the cottages, which it had acquired as a wet weather centre and indoor base. It was also hoped to create a ‘friends of’ group, said Mr Mitchell, while there were longer-term plans for woodland management, plus meeting and conference spaces.
FEAT would be aiming to source money from elsewhere and create employment, which was among its remits, said Mr Mitchell. Besides the ‘camping and glamping’ site and flax mill plans, there was a lot of interest in allotments at Silverburn, he added.