‘Time to stop the rot’ on Bowhill buildings

The former Miners Welfare Institute
The former Miners Welfare Institute

A call has been made to take urgent action on two Cardenden buildings which have been left to rot under private ownership.

The former Miner’s Welfare Institute on Main Street, Bowhill and the old newspaper shed at the railway station have come under scrutiny from Cardenden Community Council, which claims they now represent a public safety hazard.

Old newspaper shed at the Cardenden Railway Station

Old newspaper shed at the Cardenden Railway Station

“We want Fife Council to put some pressure on these landowners to say it’s about time we did something positive with these buildings,” said community councillor David Taylor.

“Ideally, we would like the owners to offer them to the community and let the community deal with it. It’s been dragging on too long.”

The move comes as five defunct buildings nearby undergo transformation.

For example, plans are being prepared to transform a derelict toilet block into two shop units and the Royal Bank of Scotland building is to re-open as a beauty salon.

Interest is also being shown in the former Bowhill Club building.

However, the Miner’s Welfare Institute, which latterly ran as a youth club venue, has lain derelict since being sold by Fife Council to a local property developer just over a decade ago.

“People are anxious to get hold of the building. It’s listed and part of our mining heritage,” said Mr Taylor.

“In the 1920s/30s mineowners shut the water off to all the houses in the village during strikes but they couldn’t shut the water off to the institute. “It was also used as a soup kitchen and that’s why people would quite like to save the building but it’s maybe getting to the stage where we just have to cut our losses.

The former station newspaper shed has been in private ownership for many years - although it changed hands a few years ago at auction.

Mr Taylor commented: “The little shed is in such a bad state now everybody would be glad to see it knocked down. there’s no question about that. “I’m sure there would be quite a few volunteers!”

Ian McCrory, lead officer, Enterprise, Planning and Protective Services said Fife Council fully recognised the negative impact dilapidation had on local communities.

“Council officers will make contact with the owners of these buildings to establish their intentions and identify if any reasonable additional support can be put in place to meet both the aspirations of the owners and the wider community.”