New life at the Greig as it re-opens as third sector hub

Greig Institute in Leven, which has just reopened as a hub for the voluntary sector. All pictures by George McLuksie.
Greig Institute in Leven, which has just reopened as a hub for the voluntary sector. All pictures by George McLuksie.

For more than 100 years, the Greig Institute has stood proudly in the heart of Leven, taking on a number of guises over the decades.

And now, it has once again been re-born, this time as a hub for the voluntary sector.

Staff from Citizens Advice and Rights Fife.

Staff from Citizens Advice and Rights Fife.

The historic building is now under the control of Fife Voluntary Action (FVA), with new tenants Citizens Advice and Rights Fife (CARF) and Fife Gingerbread already moved in, and the Fife Law Centre due to move in soon.

As well as a number of interview rooms and offices, there are now accessible toilet facilities within the building, with future plans for a self service hub and meeting room which can be offered to outside businesses.

Kenny Murphy, chief executive at FVA, said: “We’re delighted to have worked with Fife Council to bring a new lease of life to the Greig Institute, a lovely period building in the heart of Leven.

“CARF and Gingerbread are already operating from the building and in the coming weeks we’ll see Fife Voluntary Action, Fife Law Centre and others operating here, making it easier for clients in the Levenmouth area to access services.

Staff from Fife Gingerbread.

Staff from Fife Gingerbread.

“The council has been very supportive of our ambition to create voluntary sector hubs in Fife, bringing together organisations and communities to address local needs.

“FVA already operates hubs in Glenrothes, Cupar and Kirkcaldy. The Greig Institute now means we have more than 20 tenants and more than 15 meeting rooms across Fife which can be used by voluntary and public sector organisations for training, AGMs, meetings and client interviews.”

Rhona Cunningham, manager at Fife Gingerbread, said staff were delighted to be in their new home.

“It has been great. We moved from the Arden House annex last Monday, and by Tuesday, people were working and everything was up and running.”

Fife Gingerbread has 18 staff members based at the new office, and Rhona admits the Greig was a bit of a godsend, with people struggling to fit into their previous premises.

“The annex was a lovely wee building but it was just impossible to get all of the staff in there.

“The opportunity to move into the Greig came along at the perfect time, because we are delivering more and more services across Fife now; the Gateway, our Teen Parent Project, and Making It Work, which has just been rolled out across Levenmouth, so being here means there’s enough room for the staff, our volunteers and anyone who needs to come in and speak to us.

“Before, we’d have to speak to them in a corridor - now we can take them into a private room.

“Also, before, if we needed to hold any events, we would have to hire somewhere else; now, we have the space here which means the funds are being kept for the services we provide.”

CARF, which is being led by Susanne McEneany, was in a similar position in that it needed to find new premises before the end of the year.

It was previously based within the Fife College campus on Victoria Road, but with that due to move to the new Levenmouth Academy school site in 2016, the organisation was on the look-out for new office space.

Susanne explained: “We knew that we would need to find somewhere new, because Buckhaven felt just that bit too far away, as we serve the whole of the East Neuk area too. So the Greig Insitute is perfect for us, because it’s right in the heart of Leven.”