Campaign launched to save Kirkcaldy's Polish Club from closure
A campaign has been launched to save Kirkcaldy’s Polish Club.
And it needs the support of people across town to stave off the threat of closure.
The listed building that is home to the long-established community hub could be shut within three months and placed on the open market.
The threat comes from a decision to sell by London based SPK - the Polish Ex-combatants Association which formally manages the club.
Now, local volunteers who run it have launched a petition to generate the support they need to begin a bid to take control of the building.
They want to apply under the Government’s Community Right To Buy (CRTB) which, if the property is put on the market, they would have first refusal and a defined timescale to raise the funds to secure it.
Step one is to demonstrate the community is right behind them.
They need 10 per cent of the local population from central Kirkcaldy to sign their petition.
But the more names they can get, the stronger their voice will become as they bid to save an institution that will celebrate its 70th anniversary next year.
The Polish Club has been home to a huge range of local organisations, but, in common with all community facilities, it has remained closed during lockdown.
Work to create a proposed Bennochy Community Hub to run it has been on going for some time, and has the active support of a number of local politicians, all keen to secure the Polish Club’s future.
The building was bought in 1953 from the funds raised by Poles who had settled in The UK.
For many years it has been the residence of the Association of Polish Veterans.
It has also become a centre of social and cultural life of Polonia - as well as being home to a wide range of organisations.
On Sundays the traditional Polish meals are also served.
Kirkcaldy Acoustic Music Club has brought many musicians to the venue and championed bands both from the across UK and North America.
It has also featured Curnie Clubs, quiz nights, a heart support group, dance classes, politicians’ surgeries, Fife Alcohol Support Service, as well as many functions, weddings and christenings.
John Hamilton, president of the Polish Club, said: “It is still a very busy place. It is well used. - a lot more than perhaps people realise.”
That breadth of activity is now at risk if the building is put up for sale - a move which, Mr Hamilton said, came without any meaningful consultation.
“The aim was to create a charitable trust and lease the property back for five years at preferential rates
“During that time we would set about raising the funds to buy it. COVID then hit and left us without revenue.”
He added: “We are a branch of London - we rent it from them but we want to be self sufficient
“Everyone here is volunteer, and the club is open to everyone.”
The SPK was approached for comment and did not respond.
You can sign the petition via this link: