Residents of a Fife town have described their delight at being handed the keys to their B-listed community hall.
Crail Community Partnership has acquired the century-old hall in St Andrews Road and are planning a £50,000 refurbishment this spring.
Hall kitchen to get £50,000 makeover
With funding from the Scottish Land Fund, Robertson Trust, Fife Environment Trust, Co-op Local Community Fund and the Crail Common Good Fund, the partnership will revamp the hall’s kitchen area.
David Jerdan, who chairs the group, said: “We are delighted that the partnership has been able to acquire the hall for the citizens of Crail.
“We look forward to extending access to all parts of the community, and we are proceeding with plans to renovate the kitchen and enhance the facilities that will be available.”
B-listed hall dates back to 1908
Originally built as the United Free Church in 1908, the hall was run by the council as a community hub, with activities ranging from badminton and table tennis to concerts, weddings and hosting Crail Food Festival.
Now it has been handed to the community, there are plans to expand its use.
Partnership secretary Dennis Gowans said: “We’ve raised almost £50,000 to refurbish the kitchen.
“We had to raise more funds for that than we did to buy the building.”
It is hoped the new kitchen will be installed in April ahead of community groups moving into the venue.
Activities for young and old
One of the partnership’s priorities is opening up the hall to young people, through sports and musical activities.
Another priority is supporting the village’s elderly and more vulnerable residents.
The hall is also in demand for family gatherings and weddings, when Covid-19 restrictions are eased.
Mr Gowans added: “We already have a very strong interest for weddings, probably about eight to 10, if we can allow these events to happen.”
Crail Community Partnership was formed in 2018 and has been involving residents in making local improvements through the Crail Charrette.
The transfer of the hall to community ownership has taken nearly two years, having started in 2019.
“We need a project co-ordinator to help is get these projects up and running.”
Mr Gowans said the partnership was in a position to fund a project co-ordinator over a 12-month period and would be advertising the post imminently.
“We need a project co-ordinator to help us get these projects up and running,” he said.
“We’re starting to advertise that, and it is helping to bring a bit of employment to Crail.
“It would be a 12-month contract and would help us implement the hall business plan.”