Ambitious plans to create a £2.2 million community hub in Tayport have taken a major step forward.
Fife Council’s north east Fife area committee has awarded £250,000 toward the cost of the new building, which will offer tourism and sports facilities, a large cafe and space for community meetings and events.
Eventually, there will also be a camping and caravan site to take advantage of the hundreds of visitors to nearby Tentsmuir Forest and those using the coastal path and various cycle routes.
The council’s investment is seen as key to the project’s success as it will pave the way for funding from other organisations and secures the £1.2m offered by the Big Lottery Fund on condition work begins by April.
It has been welcomed by Richard Tough, vice chairman of Tayport Community Trust, which aims to ensure the hub is fully sustainable and self-supporting.
“This is a significant milestone for us and will energise the group even further to bring our case forward,” he said.
The trust negotiated the transfer of a three-acre former steel fabrication works in the town from Fife Council in 2015.
It had lain derelict for 20 years and has now been demolished in preparation for the new state-of-the-art hub.
Mr Tough told councillors: “We have done extensive consultation which has allowed us to have a robust business plan and robust design which will meet the needs of the Tayport community.”
Stating that support from townsfolk had been “immense”, he added: “Trust members have shown some amazing tenacity and belief in the project and it’s all voluntary work, not paid work.
“Sustainability is the real key to our project and the cafe will bring in money which will be put back into the community hub.”
Urging the committee to support the funding bid, Tayport councillor Tim Brett said: “This is very much in line with what the Scottish Government and Fife Council are encouraging communities to do — to take ownership of projects, to go out and find the funding and for people in a voluntary capacity to address issues in their local communities.
“That’s precisely what Tayport Community Trust has done.”
The trust expects that in its first year of operation the hub will create six full-time equivalent jobs, six modern apprenticeships, three student placements and opportunities for 20 volunteers to develop skills and experience.