Trust to run library and museum

0111036 SSFF stock museum 'stock photo Kirkcaldy - museum & art gallery, kirkcaldy
0111036 SSFF stock museum 'stock photo Kirkcaldy - museum & art gallery, kirkcaldy
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KIRKCALDY’S library and museum could soon be run by a trust, in a move that could save Fife Council millions.

Talks began this week on proposals to deliver libraries, arts, museums and Fife’s extensive archive through a trust rather than directly from Fife Council, in a bid to get more people using the facilities and cut costs.

Councillors met on Tuesday to discuss the various options, and agreed in principle transferring the services to another body to deliver.

The housing and communities committee agreed that an options appraisal will now be carried out, including an option for a single trust in Fife which could encompass all cultural services, including theatres, libraries, museums and cultural events.

Chairman of the committee, Councillor Brian Goodall, said: “This is something that a lot of us wouldn’t have wanted to even consider a few years back.

‘‘But with experience of trusts and services we now have, a lot of the concerns we had have been addressed with the positive aspect of how these other services have done.”

Wider impact

Despite the backing of the idea in principle, a number of councillors expressed concerns over the impact such a big move could have on the cultural services and on the rest of the Council.

Councillor David Ross said: “This is about our whole local service delivery.

“We need to take a very close look at the wider impact and implications of this as a whole, and establish some kind of body to take a real look at the different models and how the Council will be delivering its services in five or 10 years time.”

Councillors made clear they want the public involved in any decision-making, while officers added the plans will not affect the refurbishment of the Kirkcaldy building.

Kirkcaldy councillor Neil Crooks said he hoped officers consider a co-operative as a viable option.

Co-op option

He said: “It is very much a letting go approach, which some people may have difficulty with.

‘’Having a trust is easier to do than something that’s maybe more challenging, but rather than shy away we should examine it. Co-ops are going to be a growing part of the UK economy in the future.”

A full appraisal of the options will be taken, with a decision expected to be taken in August.