Planners give the green light for Fife's first dedicated LGBT centre
A dedicated LGBT centre for Fife is set to become a reality after plans for the facility in Kirkcaldy town centre were given the green light.
The ambitious project is the brainchild of Pink Saltire and the charity is now going "full steam ahead" to bring the new development to the town, as it prepares to launch a fundraising appeal to cover the costs for the facility – which will be known as The Hive LGBT Centre.
The new public space will have a cafe, recording studios, meeting rooms for community use, hot desks for hire and an exhibition space in the first phase.
Stuart Duffy, founder of Pink Saltire, said everyone involved with the project is delighted to see it come to fruition.
He said: "We are really excited to launch this final phase of our plans.
"It's been a long journey since we took the keys back in July 2020, made even more difficult during the pandemic as trades have been so difficult to get a hold of, but we're determined to get the doors open this summer!
"We're hoping the community will get their fundraising hats on and dig deep for a great cause - we've already raised more than £50,000 through grants and sponsors to help make this first phase a welcoming, safe space in Fife for LGBT+ people. We've had support from The National Lottery Community Fund, Fife Charities Trust and our landlord has also made a contribution to the fundraising - now it's the final big push!"
The Hive will occupy the former Goldbergs department store in Kirkcaldy, just off the High Street.
The building has been empty for several years but the charity are giving it a new lease of life, with new toilets, offices and storage being added to the ground floor.
With almost 10,000 square feet spread over two floors, it's a prime space with lots of potential for growth as new services and activity are launched for the Fife community.
Two community organisations have already signed up as residents too, with Transgender Fife and Scene Alba Magazine now based at the facility on Whytescauseway. It's hoped the building will act as a base for a number of community services and programmes, as well as offering a focus during the successful Fife Pride event each year.
Stuart added: "We know people are excited about the new Centre opening - we've had loads of enquiries about using the space already, which is fantastic! There's loads of ways to get involved,
whether its doing a sponsored run or cycle, having a school bake sale, maybe hosting a quiz or just rattling a collecting tin.
"This is a community space and so it takes a whole community to make it successful."
Stuart said that if any business or organisation would like to sponsor The Hive, whether it’s with a cash donation or with in-kind services or raffle prizes, they should please get in touch with [email protected] who will arrange to discuss some of the options available.