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YMCA global chiefs swap COP26 for Kirkcaldy in surprise visit to open £750,000 hub

High ranking YMCA bosses took a detour from COP26 in Glasgow to attend the opening of the new Kirkcaldy hub.
High ranking YMCA bosses took a detour from COP26 in Glasgow to attend the opening of the new Kirkcaldy hub.

High ranking YMCA delegates from around the world swapped COP26  for Kirkcaldy to witness the opening of the organisation’s newest facility.

The brand new £750,000 hub in the Lang Toun‘s Gallatown area threw its doors open for the first time on Monday with some of the YMCA‘s most senior bosses on hand to help celebrate.

Guests enjoying the cafe at the new £750,000 YMCA community hub in Kirkcaldy.

COP26 delegates

They were on hand to celebrate what has been a nine-year journey for local YMCA staff to deliver the new community hub.

Boasting a commercial kitchen, work spaces, café and soon to be finished outdoor landscaping, the hub is the latest addition to facilities which already include the pump track and community garden.

High ranking YMCA bosses from around the globe took time off attending COP26 to visit the new facility.

The hub also provides a much needed facility in east Kirkcaldy which suffers a number of social problems including high levels of child poverty.

Statistics in recent years indicate the area has one of the highest levels of child poverty anywhere in Scotland outside of Glasgow.

Nine year vision for new hub

The new hub is set to become a vital resource for the community offering a level of support much needed in the town.

The environmentally friendly hub also boast a commercial café.

For Liz Easton, general secretary of Kirkcaldy YMCA, the hub is nearly a decade’s worth of effort and dedication realised.

“It’s taken a huge effort and support from a great many people to turn an idea we first had in 2012 into reality,” said Liz.

“It’s a wonderful day, made even more special by the last minute surprise of our YMCA delegates who’ve taken time out from attending COP26 to witness what we do.

“The building received high praise from our visitors for it’s environmentally friendly construction.

“We have a special drainage, a heating and ventilation system that recycles heat and air as well as a connection between the indoor and the outdoor spaces.”

Tears of joy

Among the delegates taking time out from the COP26 environmental summit in Glasgow were Tom Valentine, vice president, International Group Y of the USA, Juan Simoes Iglesias, secretary general of YMCA Europe and Nam Boo-Won, secretary general of the Asia Pacific Alliance.

With £736,000 already spent on the construction and further funding going on landscaping, Liz said the project would not have been possible at all without the support of the YMCA board who backed her team’s vision for a new hub.

“There have been a few tears of joy today, especially from locals who say we have delivered everything and more for what the community said they were desperate for back in 2012,” said Liz.

“Through hard work and sheer determination we’ve taken that original idea and created something special for the community.”

The hub will open for general use six days a week, Monday -Saturday with the café facility open Wednesday – Saturday.

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