Petition launched to save Fife sports centre cafe from closure

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An on-line petition has been started to prevent the closure of the widely used and popular cafe at Michael Woods Leisure Centre, Glenrothes.

Groups which use the busy centre, which is run by Fife sports & Leisure Trust (FSLT), have expressed their shock at the threat hanging over the facility and the staff who work there. It is understood it could close by the start of May.

The cafe has been part of the centre since it replaced the old Fife Institute, and regulars say it is very well used, but the Fife Council run facility is being withdrawn by the local authority, and its arms-length trust is now in talks to look at alternative catering options.

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The news has not gone down well with groups which use the busy centre with almost 130 names on the petition at https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-the-closure-of-michael-woods-cafe

A petition has been launched to stop the closure of the cafe at Michael Woods Sports Centre in Glenrothes (Pic: Submitted)A petition has been launched to stop the closure of the cafe at Michael Woods Sports Centre in Glenrothes (Pic: Submitted)
A petition has been launched to stop the closure of the cafe at Michael Woods Sports Centre in Glenrothes (Pic: Submitted)

Fife Wanderers Walking Football group meets every Monday for a chat over a cuppa - a gathering they describe as “ a crucial part of our session and hugely important for the mental health and well being of the players.” Members said they had heard nothing about the closure plans, and an alternative of vending machines simply wouldn’t be the same.

“There has been no effort to raise the incredibly cheap costs, nor indeed try to find a local entrepreneur to manage and run the cafe,” said one. “Bearing in mind both the original capital sum and annual running cost of the centre complex it would be interesting to know the fractional cost of the cafe. It must be an extremely small percentage of the whole.

“Without a `human` presence and faced only with drink machines - which are normally malfunctioning - the huge benefits to the people of Glenrothes and Fife will be drastically reduced by this particular stroke of someone`s pen. “

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A petition launched on the 38degrees campaigning website has started to gain support.

Launched by Jade McElwee, it said: “We need to band together to get as many names as possible to stop the closure of the beloved cafe at Michael Woods. We need to protect the jobs of brilliant people and keep the quality of service top tier by providing good food and refreshments to families at the low cost they have always been.”

Signatories describe the cafe as a “vital part of the centre” and ”a valuable service.”

Paul Burke, commercial and business development manager for Fife Sports and Leisure Trust said: "We are currently in discussions with Fife Council with regard to the café services it delivers at our venues. We recognise the importance of these services to our customers and the community, and we invite them to help shape the future of these services.”he said more details regarding the decision and our future plans will be communicated in due course.