Work to create a visitor centre and backpackers’ hostel in Leven could begin within weeks.
Silverburn Park bosses want to capitalise on the opening of the new Levenmouth Rail Link in 2024 by attracting new visitors to the town.
And a £1.5 million award from the Scottish Government means plans to transform the park’s derelict flax mill are well on track.
Silverburn chairman Brian Robertson said the centre would become a jewel in Fife’s crown when it opens in 2026.
It will include a restaurant, craft studios and exhibition space, as well as the hostel.
“We expect to start the delivery phase of the project in March,” said Brian.
The B-listed flax mill on the 27-acre estate once employed 200 people but has lain empty for years.
Plans for its transformation were announced in 2019 and detailed designs released last year.
Brian said it would be like seeing a phoenix rising from the ashes.
“We hope to appoint a contractor in March 2023 and start construction the following month,” he said.
“The construction will take at least two-and-a-half years and the building will open at Easter 2026.”
The £1.5m award from the Scottish Government follows £2m of funding from Fife Council and £500,000 from Historic Environment Scotland.
And the public raised a further £37,300 through an online crowdfunding campaign.
Transforming Silverburn Park
The flax mill project is just one part of the ongoing work to transform Silverburn Park.
The park is managed by Fife Employment Access Trust, which aims to help people with mental health problems back into work.
It took the park over from Fife Council in 2007.
And since then, the charity has been working to bring the estate back to its former glory.
Green spaces have been transformed and invasive species eradicated.
Meanwhile, a new campsite with glamping pods is proving immensely popular and bringing in income.
But the main focus is now getting the flax mill project off the ground.
The Levenmouth Rail Link announcement in 2019 has focused minds and much work is going on in the town to give people a reason to visit.
Brian added: “The centre won’t be open for the railway coming back but it’s seen very much as a jewel in the crown as a destination to attract people to the area.”