£1.5m funding boost to transform former Fife flax mill into visitor centre

An ambitious bid to bring a former Fife flax mill back to life as a visitor centre and community hub has been given a £1.5 million boost.

By Craig Smith, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 11:12 am

The Scottish Government has confirmed that 22 regeneration projects in some of Scotland’s more disadvantaged and rural communities are to share more than £25 million of funding.

And among the recipients will be those behind the Flax MIll Project at Leven’s Silverburn Park, which is managed by mental health charity Fife Employment Access Trust (FEAT).

It took the park over from Fife Council in 2007, and work to rejuvenate the area has continued apace in recent years.

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The former flax mill

It wants to transform the derelict B-listed building into a visitor centre, community hub, cafe, shop, hostel, and an arts and crafts studio.

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A spokesperson for the Silverburn Park group described the award, from the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund, as “wonderful news.”

“We want to thank all of visitors for the massive community support we've received in recent years which has played a huge part in helping us to secure these vital funds,” the spokesperson added.

“It’s great news ahead of the festive break - we'll recharge the batteries before getting on with the next phase of this development from January.

“We do still need more funding to ensure the project can get fully underway, but have lots of irons in the fire and optimistic for more good news early next year on that front.”

The fund is designed to support projects that tackle inequalities and promote sustainable and inclusive economic recovery from the pandemic.

Community wealth minister Tom Arthur said: "The last few years have been tough for us all, but many of Scotland’s communities have been more impacted than others.

“The latest projects to benefit are working to tackle inequalities and create vibrant town centres and neighbourhoods.

"By securing investment from this £25m fund, these innovative projects demonstrate the powerful role those in our communities can have in helping to transform their town centres and neighbourhoods by investing in their future.

“We will do all it can to support projects that help create the fairer, greener and more prosperous Scotland we all want to see.”

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