The final touches were being added to a 25-year dream last weekend as the opening of the town’s very own Heritage Centre was realised.
Scottish Parliament’s Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick MSP carried out the ribbon- cutting ceremony on Saturday morning as the Glenrothes public gathered to witness the official launch of the Glenrothes and Area Heritage Centre.
People flocked to the centre situated in Lyon Way in the town’s Kingdom Shopping Mall to take in the first displays of historical artefacts, photographs, documents and other related memorabilia in the Heritage Centre’s new, permanent home.
Mrs Marwick said the centre was a vital asset to the town and one that would be valued by a great many people throughout the region.
She added: “It’s important that this day has happened – as a new town, Glenrothes never had a Nairn or a Carnegie as a benefactor, so people have had to do it for themselves.
“It’s vital that the history of this town and its surrounding communities can be shared, and not only will it benefit future generations, it will help to instil pride in everyone who lives here.”
The previous evening, around 70 esteemed guests including the Lord Lieutenant of Fife, Fife Depute Provost, politicians and descendants of Leslie family who have donated many of the artefacts on show at the centre, gathered for a VIP reception.
Speaker after speaker praised the efforts of Heritage Centre Trust’s over the last three decades to bring about a permanent home for the preservation and promotion of the town’s history.
Fife Depute Provost Councillor Kay Morrison called the centre “a huge achievement and a fitting conclusion to the tenacity, determination and perseverance of all those involved in making it happen”.
Lindsay Roy MP said the centre would prove a great success, and added that it was vital to recognise the “importance of local history that we are all a part of.”
Margaret Dean, Lord Lieutenant of Fife, said the centre was “so important for moral, pride and instilling value into where we live” and added the realisation of 25 years’ worth of effort was “a triumph”.
Former Glenrothes Gazette chief reporter Mike Delaney played a key role in the early stages of getting the project off the ground, with a temporary display in 2010 which drew more than 11,500 visitors in just one month.
He told guests that the centre should mark the beginnings of a sustainable heritage hub that would prosper and go on to greater things.
Members of the Leslie family – who have historical links to the area and were former owners of Leslie House – were present as invited guests, following their continued support of the Heritage trustees’ efforts.
Linda Ballingall, chairman of the trustees, praised Robert Winter, manager of the Kingdom Centre, and his team for seeing and understanding their vision and helping to make it come to fruition with the use of a permanent space within the centre.
l The Glenrothes and Area Heritage Centre is open from Tuesday – Saturday 10.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m. admission £1 (under-16s free).