Loss-making cafe set to close at Beacon Centre

Beacon Leisure Centre, Burntisland
Beacon Leisure Centre, Burntisland

A LOCAL councillor said he is “bitterly disappointed” at the decision to close the cafe at a Burntisland leisure facility.

George Kay told the Press that despite attempts to save the Beacon Leisure Centre cafe from shutting, Fife Council has opted to close it later this summer.

The facility had been losing more than £21,000 a year but local people had been shocked when they learned of the decision to close it down in March.

When the news was announced, members of Kirkcaldy Area Committee asked the Fife Sports and Leisure Trust to re-think the move and look into other options.

They had recommended asking for notes of interest from parties who might want to keep the cafe running.

But now the Trust has decided to go ahead with closing it as originally intended.

Councillor Kay, whose ward covers Burntisland, Kinghorn and Western Kirkcaldy, told the Press he has sent in a 500 plus-signature petition to the Trust objecting to the closure.

He said: “I have been advised the Trust management has considered our recommendation, but has decided to continue with its preferred option of running the centre with enhanced vending machines as it does elsewhere. The cafe will now close towards the end of the school holidays.

“I am bitterly disappointed at this decision and will be writing to Ed Watson, chief executive of the Trust, together with the chairman of the board expressing that disappointment and asking that they further consider the councillors’ recommendation.”

Andy MacLellan, Fife Council’s sports partnership manager, said although the Trust runs the centre it is the local authority which runs the cafe.

He said: “Fife Council, which presently operates the cafe service at the Beacon Leisure Centre, has taken the decision to stop operating the cafe from Monday, August 15.

‘‘Fife Sports and Leisure Trust, which operates the centre on behalf of Fife Council, will replace this with an enhanced vending service.

“The Council has been managing the cafe for a number of years, but unfortunately this has been running at a substantial loss, and it’s no longer sustainable for us to run this service.

‘‘Although a review has taken place to consider different operating options, the Trust is confident the enhanced vending service will provide a sufficient service for customers.

‘‘ Other Fife Sports and Leisure Trust facilities already operate well without a cafe.

“We originally planned to close the cafe in June, but after discussion with the local community, this has been extended to the end of the summer holidays so locals can enjoy it during the centre’s busiest period.

‘‘We’ll be working with the Trust to monitor feedback on the vending service when these changes come into effect to make sure we best meet the needs of customers using the centre.”