Kirkcaldy Polish Club buyout: Building to be turned into community hub

Kirkcaldy’s Polish Club, which had been under threat from closure after it was almost sold off, is being taken into community ownership, ensuring the survival of the facility.

Thursday, 24th March 2022, 12:01 am
Kirkcaldy's Polish Club is being taken into community ownership
Kirkcaldy's Polish Club is being taken into community ownership

Community group Bennochy Community Hub has received £316,250, from the Scottish Land Fund, with which it is set to take over ownership of Bennochy House and continue to operate it as a social and recreational centre.

It comes after a campaign was launched to save the club after London-based SPK - the Polish Ex-combatants Association which formally manages the club - decided to put the building up for sale in May 2021.

The Polish Club, located just off Forth Park Drive, has long been host to a number of community groups, and is the base of the Kirkcaldy Acoustic Music Club.

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John Hamilton, Chair of Trustees, Bennochy community Hub SCIO, said: “We are delighted to receive a grant from the Scottish Land Fund.

"This is a major boost to our efforts to purchase Bennochy House. Local ownership will remove the threat of closure, which has hung over us for many years, and allow the hub to continue as a multi-function community facility for the benefit of the people of Kirkcaldy Central.

“The building is a venue for many activities, all important to the local community. As a unique multi-function facility in Kirkcaldy Central, it offers meeting and consultation rooms; garden area and allotments; outdoor recreational areas and facilities social gatherings.”

Amongst the groups which use the building are children of Polish residents, Kirkcaldy Acoustic Music Club, darts and fishing clubs, groups tackling social isolation and fitness classes.

The building was bought in 1953 from the funds raised by Poles who had settled in The UK.

The award is just one of a number of projects across Scotland which will receive funding after today’s announcement.

Mairi McAllan, Minister, Environment and Land Reform, said: “It’s great to see such a diverse range of projects benefit from the support of the fund – collectively they are helping to preserve local and national history, to provide affordable housing, support community events and encourage engagement with the natural environment.

“These grants are a tribute to the hard work and resilience of the many people who have given up their time for the common good."