THE countdown is on for the opening of West Fife’s impressive new cultural venue, the £12 million Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries.

There are only 11 weeks to go until the new facility opens its doors to the public on Thursday, May 18.

Construction work on Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries (DCL&G) finished late last year and Fife Cultural Trust staff, who will manage and operate the facility on behalf of Fife Council, are now hard at work moving thousands of books, museum objects, precious archives and artworks into the building.

The new museum joins two B-listed buildings, the existing Carnegie library and a former bank branch, and has created a purpose-built modern extension overlooking the grounds of Dunfermline Abbey. 

It will be home to a museum over two floors, three temporary exhibition galleries, a café, a shop, a new children’s library and the Reading Room - a local history, study and archives space.

Councillor Helen Law, chair of the City of Dunfermline area committee, said she was "extremely pleased" that the wait was almost over.

“Come opening day, years of work planning, securing funding, carrying out an archaeological dig and constructing this breathtaking new facility in a tight spot in the heart of the town’s Heritage Quarter will have paid off," she said.

“Those of us who have been lucky enough to have a sneak peek inside the building have been extremely impressed – from staff to local businesses to the many volunteers who have dedicated their time and energy to this venture.

"Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries really will be a game-changer for the town centre, aiming to contribute a visitor spend of at least £500,000 each year to the local economy.”

Fife Cultural Trust chief executive, Heather Stuart, said they were immensely proud of what has been created.

"This building truly is state of the art and a fitting celebration of the past, present and future of Dunfermline, one of Scotland’s ancient capitals," she added.

“A lot of hard work and detailed planning has gone into blending the new with the old, ensuring that the legacy left by Andrew Carnegie lives on. Thanks to the dedication and commitment shown by the project team, staff and over 450 volunteers, we have created a vibrant visitor attraction that will be enjoyed for many generations to come."

Architect Richard Murphy added: “We are absolutely thrilled that the Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries is finally complete.

"It’s been a ten year project for us since winning the architectural competition in 2007 and that timescale has given us a wonderful opportunity to design in great detail for this highly particular brief and demanding site. 

"Building an extension to the world’s first Andrew Carnegie library is a great privilege and we hope that our own contribution from the 21st century will, in the fullness of time, take its place in Dunfermline’s continuing and unfolding history alongside our many historic neighbours.”

West Fifers wanting to keep up to date with the latest news can do so by liking the ‘Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries’ Facebook page or following @ONatDCLG on Twitter.

The opening weekend coincides with the national Festival of Museums, which runs from May 19-21.