Kirkcaldy YWCA handed £290,000 to transform Esplanade building

Plans to bring the former Kirkcaldy YW building on the Esplanade back to life have received a major funding boost.

Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 3:53 pm

The venue, which includes the Kings Live Lounge, has been handed £290,000 from the Scottish Government.

It is the single biggest grant the trust behind the venue has received to date.

The funding is part of a £3.1m pot handed to Fife Council - the second largest allocation in Scotland - and is due to be signed off by councillors at Thursday’s policy and co-ordination committee meeting.

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At Kirkcaldy's Kings Live Lounge are (from left) Sandy Henderson, assistant manager.; John Murray, chair of the trustees; Stephen Barbour,, events manager.
At Kirkcaldy's Kings Live Lounge are (from left) Sandy Henderson, assistant manager.; John Murray, chair of the trustees; Stephen Barbour,, events manager.

The Placed Based Investment Programme helps local authorities support town centre initiatives - and the former YW is one of the key community venues which can bring footfall to the area.

Now in control of the Kirkcaldy Kings Theatre Trust, the money will be key to tackling years of decay.

Plans include improving the front of the building and starting work on the first floor to create a potential space for local artists.

John Murray, who chairs the trust, said: “This money will go a long way to bringing it up to the standard people expect.

At Kirkcaldy's Kings Live Lounge are (from left) John Murray, chair of the trustees; Stephen Barbour (centre), events manager, and Sandy Henderson, assistant manager.

“This is the single biggest grant yet, and it is excellent news for the venue and the team behind it.”Closed since lockdown, work is now underway to get the doors open as soon as restrictions lift.

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The newly created plaza will become a cafe and performance space, while clearance work has meant there is room within the courtyard behind the building to also be put to good use.

The trustees are also looking to fill three vacancies.

The jobs are in the newly established ‘9Bistro’ which is set to launch at the venue, and they are open to anyone aged 18-30 claiming benefits.

The Live Lounge - which had just started to create a name for itself when lockdown hit - is also ready to resume as soon as audiences are allowed back indoors.

Stephen Barbour, events manager, said: “We have been inundated with band wanting to play live gigs.

“And if we can utilise the upper level, that would give us a festival style venue where we could have multiple events.

“It would give us much more flexibility.”

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