New lease of life planned for fire ravaged Fife primary school

New life could be breathed into the fire-ravaged Inverkeithing Primary School.

The vacant building was extensively damaged in a blaze in 2018.

The Inverkeithing community has launched a study into the town’s former primary.

© Supplied
The former Inverkeithing Primary School which was ravaged by fire.

Fife Council and the Architectural Heritage Fund are supporting community plans to redevelop the derelict site.

Conservation architects and engineers working on a technical study will investigate whether it can be saved, alongside the other listed building on the site.

The Inverkeithing Community Development Group (ICDG) is working in partnership with co-housing charity, the Vivarium Trust, to undertake the feasibility study for a community-led redevelopment of the site.

The survey will take around a year to complete.

Rosie Gibson of ICDG said 87% of local people who completed a recent survey about the school backed community use and community housing for the site and they will be investigating how to make this happen.

“Some of the ideas emerging from the survey for the playground and the old school gardens include green and growing spaces, along with modular, low impact buildings that can be used by the young and the not-so-young for creative and social activities.”

Paul Short of Fife Council said its housing service was happy to support Vivarium in considering how social rented housing can be built into the model of co-housing and have provided part-funding for this.

“We are supportive of this being investigated at the site of the former primary school.

“We will consider the outcomes of the feasibility study with interest once these are available.”

Gordon Barr from the Architectural Heritage Fund said: “We are pleased to be able to support the community’s ambitions to take ownership of this important building and site in the heart of Inverkeithing for the benefit of all.

“This funding towards producing a viability study will help the group establish the best combination of new uses and how much it would cost to deliver and is a positive first step in the journey to regenerate and bring the site back to life.”

According to Carol Morton of the Vivarium Trust there is a huge and growing need in Scotland for innovative housing for older people, such as senior co-housing.

“This works best in a community context like Inverkeithing and integrates well alongside other things that benefit the whole community, like green space and things for young people.

“This sort of development is emerging as a way of delivering on a range of key government priorities and sits alongside other progressive initiatives in the town.”

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