A £500,000 windfall to aid the transformation of a former bowling club into a thriving community hub has been hailed as a dream come true.
National Lottery staff announced the award to overjoyed residents in the Gallatown area of Kirkcaldy on Tuesday following months of hard work by everyone involved in the project.
The money from the lottery’s community fund will go to Kirkcaldy YMCA, which has been working with the Gallatown community through its Link Up programme for several years.
It will pay for a significant portion of the refurbishment needed at the bowling club building, while funding staffing costs for the project for several years.
Delighted Gallatown resident Grace Beale, who has been involved with Link Up for six years, said it was hard to take in the news.
“This is a dream come true,” she said.
“I am so happy and ecstatic for everyone involved, for the whole community, for the Gallatown and more.
“This money means we can make a huge difference. I can’t wait until the new building is open.”
Link Up was launched in Gallatown in 2013 as a way of bringing together the community and giving them the skills to help themselves.
Since then, a number of groups have been set up, including activities for children and teenagers, a bike club and a lunch club, all driven by local people
The bowling club folded in 2017 and the building was considered an ideal base for services and activities.
Kirkcaldy YMCA general secretary Liz Easton said: “We approached Fife Council in May to look at the feasibility of the YM taking over the building and things just took off from there, with local people being fully behind the plan and willingly contributing their thoughts, ideas and needs throughout.
“This is a major achievement for everyone involved.”
Maureen McGinn, Scotland chair of the National Lottery Community Fund, said it gave her great pleasure to make the award.
“Once finished, local people in Kirkcaldy and beyond will be able to enjoy a wide range of activities from mother and toddlers’ groups and family cooking clubs through to gardening projects and a community café,” she said.
“It’s a great use of National Lottery money which will deliver huge benefits for their enterprising community.”