New life for Gothic Greig

Greig Institute
Greig Institute

Come the new year, Leven’s Greig Institute will once again be bustle of activity thanks to the third sector.

Fife Council has reached an agreement with Fife Voluntary Action (FVA), Fife Gingerbread and Citizens Advice & Rights Fife (CARF) to turn the Greig into a Levenmouth hub for the third sector.

Confirming the news, Fife Council said it had already started the design process with the three groups, and refurbishment work should start early next year, with a view to opening the facility come the start of the new financial year in 2015.

Announcing the news in its latest newsletter, FVA said: “We are delighted to confirm that our latest venture in supporting Fife’s third sector has been given the go-ahead by Fife Council.

“Our job is to support, develop and represent community groups, voluntary organisations, social enterprises and volunteering.

“We believe that providing meeting and office facilities for organisations to use is a way to add value to our services and help bring Fife’s third sector closer together.

“We believe that by connecting and sharing space, our customers and stakeholders will also benefit from shared good practice, knowledge and expertise.

“Our vision is for a set of ‘hub’ buildings where Fife’s third sector can be supported and encouraged to thrive.”

Alongside FVA, Fife Gingerbread - which has had its main base on Commerical Road in Leven for around 10 years, will be moving to the Greig. Rhona Cunningham, manager at the charity added: “We are delighted that in the very near future we will be part of the new third sector hub in Leven.

“We are sad to be leaving our lovely wee gingerbread house, however the huge demand in our services means we have unfortunately outgrown it.

“We are looking forward to being able to work even closer alongside our colleagues at Fife Voluntary Action and CARF.

“The third sector hub will mean families have easier and improved access to varied support services all under one roof.”

The Greig Institute has been an imposing presence on the south side of Leven for more than 150 years.

The distinct Gothic building, built by Andrew Heiton,opened as a people’s institute in 1872 and was named after one of its founders. In living memory though, its reincarnations have been somewhat more chequered.

For a number of years the gardens housed a scrapyard before the building, now as the town’s public library, was refurbished and its grounds landscaped. The attached cottage served as a base for the tourism team from Kirkcaldy District Council’s leisure and recreation department and, for a spell, was a police station and then,latterly, a careers Opportunity Centre.