Trust in Methil and Methilhill

From left, Pauline Grandison, Martin Bell, Enid Trevette
From left, Pauline Grandison, Martin Bell, Enid Trevette

Charity leaders hope to mine a rich seam of willingness and intent to revitalise one of Levenmouth’s best-known communities.

Residents in Methil and Methilhill are being invited to form a steering group to help shape a community action plan to transform the locality over the next five years.

What we are about is community empowerment.

Enid Trevette

The venture is part of the Coalfields Community Futures Programme (CCFP), which is overseen by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust – the charity which aims to help former pit areas which may have been blighted by deprivation or lack of opportunities since the decline of the mining industry.

A participatory budget of around £20,000 is available to help fund projects, while successful schemes have been launched in areas of west Fife and other parts of Scotland.

Trust representatives staged an open meeting last week in Methilhill’s British Legion hall, attended by around 15 interested people, in which they explained how they aimed to assist Levenmouth.

CCFP members and the Trust’s community engagment personnel will help Methilhill/Methil inhabitants prepare the community action plan, encouraging the participation of as many residents as possible, to identify main projects over the five-year period.

A survey would also take place to assess what people wanted most, after which there would be an open day/family fun day, to allow as many people as possible to study the feedback.

The Trust’s Pauline Grandison said Fife Council had been very supportive of the process, while colleague Enid Trevette added: “What we are about is community empowerment. This journey that people go on can lead in all sorts of directions.”

As much community participation as possible meant the whole area would benefit, she said.

Residents attending the meeting from Methilhill and Methil reckoned facilities to make the area more family-friendly and child-friendly may be near the top of the wish list. A number of people felt amenities had declined over the years and there was very little for young people.

Facilities like a new community hall, a good place to go out and eat locally, a car park for Methilhill Primary School, some of the shops which Levenmouth lacked but which Kirkcaldy, Glenrothes and Edinburgh had, plus safer cycle links from Methil/Methilhill to the Coastal Path, were among the suggestions.

One mother remarked: “There’s nothing here for this generation, and we need to do something about it.”