WEST FIFE Enterprise (WFE) has closed its doors for the final time after more than three decades of service.

Despite a late rally to raise crucial funding, the Newmills-based charity closed last Tuesday.

Earlier this year, the Press reported that a cash crisis had left WFE with "no other option" but to begin planning redundancies in March.

They had hoped a rescue bid would come forward by April 8 to save them, but nothing materialised.

Announcing the sad news, Jane McCauslin MBE, said: “The board of directors and management of West Fife Enterprise (WFE) would like to thank everyone for their role in the success of WFE for over three decades. 

“It is with great sadness that the board of directors had to make the decisions that it did in January, as despite everyone’s best efforts, including the staff team, it was not possible to secure sustainable funding.

“From a small community enterprise set up with EC and Fife funding in the late 1980s to address the loss of coalfield and defence jobs, WFE has become a very highly-respected part of not just West Fife but all of Fife, with wider recognition from Scotland, UK and the EU over the years. 

“It has supported those experiencing the decline of manufacturing, electronics and the difficult challenges faced by many jobseekers, young and old. 

“Most important to those involved in the delivery of WFE’s service to Fife has been the knowledge that many hundreds of people, young and not so young, have been assisted into – or back into – employment through their efforts. First in West Fife but recently in other parts of Fife too. 

“The skills and experience of WFE staff has been a huge asset to our community and we are sad to lose these collective efforts. 

“Partnership work with many agencies and organisations has been a constant feature of the work of WFE and the board wishes partners well in continuing this work and thank them for their role in our joint delivery. 

“Regrettably, Tuesday 30 April is our organisation’s last day and our doors will close with a sad farewell to staff and those who have worked with us over many years.”

Simon Warr, general manager, admitted a board meeting on February 26 determined it would be "unlikely" for the organisation to secure sustainable funding.

WFE had worked with 1,455 unemployed people over the last 10 years, helping them gain confidence, qualifications and employability skills.

An online petition was created in a bid to generate support following the news of its impending closure, with more than 1,000 people signing their names.

Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Alex Rowley had also called on Fife Council and the Scottish Government to find a solution.

He had stated: “It would be tragic if these services were lost.

“These services are very much as needed as they’ve ever been in reaching people who are far removed from the labour market.”

Ashleigh Kelly received training from the organisation and was stunned to hear of its closure.

She said: “If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I just think it’s a disgrace that a company such as West Fife Enterprise is getting made to close.”