VISIONARY plans to make Inverkeithing Town Hall House fit for the 21st century can now become a reality thanks to nearly half a million pounds of funding.

The A-listed building will be transformed into a vibrant new community hub thanks to a generous £475,000 grant to Fife Council from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.

It's hoped that the transformation of the at-risk civic landmark into an active hub for Inverkeithing will be the perfect location for anything from film nights to exercise classes but will continue to offer space to established groups like the community council and Inverkeithing Local History Society.

Work at the Town House is expected to start later this year and take around 12 months to complete.

Inverkeithing councillor Alice McGarry said: “This is more good news for Inverkeithing and its regeneration.

"This Scottish Government funding is going to help make local people’s vision for the Town House as a community-use hub a reality.

"It will also complement other town-centre investment being delivered as part of the Heritage Regeneration programme.

"This includes major streetscape uplift in the High Street and the Market Square; a grant scheme for repairs to other historic buildings, and a wide range of training and education courses and activities for the whole community.

"These are designed to improve heritage skills and knowledge for both adults and children."

The project has been developed by Fife Council in partnership with locals and supported by Fife Historic Buildings Trust, as part of its flagship Inverkeithing Heritage Regeneration scheme for the town, and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic Environment Scotland.

The overall regeneration package is now more than £4 million for the five-year programme of heritage-themed improvement and investment.

The three-storey building is currently stewarded by Fife Council but they have committed to leasing the building to a community-run management organisation.

Lorraine Bell, Fife Historic Buildings Trust manager, who is managing the scheme, said: “We are so excited to be working with local people to create a vibrant community hub at the Town House with new activities for all to enjoy.

"With support from ourselves, Fife Council, Community Enterprise and ARC Architects, this A-listed building will have a bright new future with something to offer everyone in the town.

"If anyone would like to come on board and work with people locally to make a real success of this project, please do let us know.

"We need skills and enthusiasm in building management, marketing, facilities management, events management and much more – and everyone will be assured of a very warm welcome.

"The group meets by Zoom once a month – please get in touch if you would like to be involved.”

Annabelle Ewing MSP said: “The transformation of Inverkeithing’s historic Town House into a community hub, accessible to all, is a great initiative which will provide a fantastic asset for the community whilst preserving, protecting and bringing into the 21st century, a wonderful piece of the town’s history.

“Fife Historic Buildings Trust and others have done a power of work on this important project and I am delighted to see that the SNP Government will be providing this extra funding to tackle inequalities and deliver growth.

“Throughout the pandemic, there has been a focus on buying from, and supporting, local businesses and initiatives, and long may that continue. This latest round of investment will help to support our town centres to build sustainable spaces to support jobs and training.”