Gardeners Hall attracts large local interest

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A ‘HEALTHY’ number of groups have shown interest in taking over a former Buckhaven community hall.

Earlier this year, Fife Council offered the Free Gardeners Hall, on the town’s College Street, to local groups at a massively reduced price as part of its policy of releasing unused buildings back to their communities.

The opportunity for such groups to express an interest in the building, which is to be sold for £2760 - just two per cent of its estimated £138,000 market value, and others around the Kingdom, has now been completed, with Fife Council delighted with the response.

Joe Fitzpatrick, head of local and community services, said: “In relation to the Free Gardeners Hall, specifically, we issued application packs to 20 groups.

“This demonstrates a very healthy level of interest in that community facility.

“We are very pleased with that level of interest and hope we can do something that benefits the Levenmouth area.

“Fife-wide, we issued 134 packs.”

Groups now have until October 28 to fill out the application packs, which include developing a business plan, and return them to the local authority.

Each application will be assessed and passed on to the relevant area committee - Levenmouth Area Committee in the Gardeners Hall’s case - where it will make a recommendation to Fife Council’s policy, finance and asset management committee which will ultimately make the final decision.

Meanwhile, one group which expressed an interest, the Free Gardeners Hall Steering Group, has reiterated its desire to pool resources with other local groups to create the best facility for Buckhaven.

Group member Blair Denwette, said: “We think it is best to look at this collectively. Some of the smaller groups may be put off by the work they have to do to fill out the pack and not bother.

“There is no reason not to look at it together - then we can create a venue that more people can use. It’s no more difficult than what councils do to run community centres.

“We don’t want to go it alone, so whether you are a Zumba group or Brownies, please give us a ring.”

Those interested in joining forces with the Free Gardeners Hall Steering Group are asked to email or call 01592 591248.