Fife theatre group fights to re-open village hall closed for four years

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
A Fife theatre group is facing the prospect of closing after 45 years as the doors to its venue have remained shut for four years.

An online petition to save the town’s Victoria Hall from permanent closure has been launched by members of the community, and backed by Auchtermuchty Theatre Group - but the venue needs significant money spent on it to bring it back into use.

The hall, which dates back to the 1860s, has been the group's home ever since it was established via an AGM held 40 years ago this week, but the listed building has been closed since 2020, and there is still no word on when it will re-open. It was the hub of the community and hosted a wide variety of events from parties and classes to clubs, dances, a cinema, plays and pantos.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Recent storm to the roof has been damaged, but safety concerns remain over the ceiling, resulting in its prolonged closure. Its listed status means repairs have to be done with lath and plaster - an expensive, extensive and specialist method - and the group said further investigations showed that the stage also requires re-enforcing with a steel beam running underneath it.

Some of the shows staged over the years at the Village Hall (Pic: Fife Free Press archives)Some of the shows staged over the years at the Village Hall (Pic: Fife Free Press archives)
Some of the shows staged over the years at the Village Hall (Pic: Fife Free Press archives)

Several groups in the town have moved to the church hall and other local venues, but they are not suitable for the theatre group.

On the online petition, it wrote: “We have sought alternative venues to use instead of Victoria Hall, although these have worked, they are not without sacrifice. Alternatives are simply not sustainable for many different reasons. Additionally, we are unable to produce our full programme of events. Our annual play, comedy night and our much anticipated youth group have had to be put on hold. This means we are struggling immensely.

“Without the Victoria Hall, we have to accept the possibility that Auchtermuchty Theatre Group may have to cease operation for good - the only group remaining from the original glory days of Auchtermuchty. We are desperate to keep the group going, but this is becoming increasingly difficult.”It said closure would be “a huge loss felt all over the community” .and urged locals to get behind its petition.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We do not want Victoria Hall to close indefinitely. With a constantly growing and developing community the town is severely lacking in facilities that fit the needs of the people. This hall is the only one which has a large capacity, flexible uses, a built in stage and sufficient disabled access- as it is on flat, level ground and has no stairs to gain access.

“As all this work is very expensive, we believe the council is reluctant to spend such large sums of money on a hall that had very poor income before its closure in 2020.

“We want to put it to you all that if the community wants the hall to re-open, we must show the council that the community is willing to utilise this hall and use it regularly if the repairs are carried out- making it worth the time and the money.”

Paul Vaughan, Fife Council's head of communities and neighbourhoods confirmed that the hall has to remain closed until essential repairs are carried out. At this stage we can't give any indication when it will be open again,” he said. “We understand that will be disappointing for the groups that make use of the building. We are now getting estimates for the work that's needed and we will do our best to get that done as quickly as possible. In the meantime we will be meeting with local groups to discuss their concerns and options for them moving forward."

> Sign the petition at - search for Save the Victoria Hall in Auchtermuchty from permanent closure

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.