THE new Glenrothes sports centre should be named after a former councillor, it has been suggested, reports MIKE DELANEY.
Local authority chief, Peter Grant, wants the Fife Institute replacement to honour Michael Woods, who represented the ward in which the building stands for many years.
The call came as work finally got underway on the multi-million pounds project, which Cllr Grant described as “great news for the town and for all those who fought long and hard to give the people of Glenrothes the sports and leisure facilities they deserve.”
Fife Council is also about to start a public consultation on the naming of the new facility, with a final decision to be taken by Glenrothes Area Committee on 7 September.
And Cllr Grant made no secret about his own preference.
He said: “While some users would prefer to stick with the familiar Fife Institute name, I believe we should celebrate the new facility with a new name and I believe that by far the most appropriate decision would be to rename the Institute in honour of councillor Woods.
“Michael was probably the best ward councillor Glenrothes has ever seen.
“The last time he stood for election before his illness forced him to retire he got the highest percentage vote of any candidate in any ward in any council in Scotland.
“His Pitteuchar ward included the Institute and it was through this link that Michael first became aware of the very real danger that it might be knocked down and the land sold for housing.
“When Michael spoke out against this he unleashed one of the biggest community campaigns the town has ever seen. “Like many people I am absolutely convinced that Michael’s intervention, and the community reaction it inspired, made all the difference and that without him the Institute could have been lost forever.
“Sadly he succumbed to his illness before his vision of a new Institute became a reality, but he did live long enough to know that the new administration had committed the funds to replace not only the Institute, but also the major sports facilities in Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy.
“Four years after he stood down as a councillor, Michael is remembered with great affection by the people of Pitteuchar.
“He deserves a permanent memorial and it would be entirely fitting to attach his name to the new sports and leisure facility which might never have happened without him.”
Mr Woods, who represented the Scottish National Party, is already remembered through the name of a street in the area.
The online consultation, which will be launched in June, will close in August.
People will be given four options - the current name, the Glenrothes Sports and Leisure Centre, the Michael Woods Sports and Leisure Centre, or any other suggestion.