PLANS to turn the former Clydesdale Bank in Rosyth into a new community hub have moved a step forward.

EATS Rosyth bought the premises earlier in the year and now the charity has submitted proposals to Fife Council to change the use of the Queensferry Road property so it can benefit from an upgrade.

The charity, which currently runs out of the former post office building on Aberlour Street, had an urgent need to upsize with growing demand for their services surpassing what they could provide.

The move to the building just across the road will allow the community group to relocate and expand its cooking and food-growing activities.

The ambitious new plans to transform the former bank into a community hub will include a community café, shop, commercial kitchen, teaching space and meeting facilities, as well as office space for volunteers; creating a multi-support hub for Rosyth.

The applicant, Rosyth Community Projects Ltd (RCPL), which is responsible for the Rosyth Community Hub, Rosyth Community Garden and Rosyth Centenary Orchard, say the proposals primarily encompass works to repair dilapidation, make the building fit for purpose and involve minimal changes externally.

They want to replace the existing rotting windows with new double-glazed units and provide a new staff entrance door. A number of renewable energy solutions have been chosen to replace heating and hot water systems.

A planning statement said: "After a long search for a larger premises, Rosyth Community Projects Ltd have secured funding to complete the purchase of the former Clydesdale Bank.

"The building is just 300 metres from the original community hub and is located in the heart of Rosyth.

"The new premises are well-connected, within walking distance for most of the community, as well as being serviced by free parking and a bus stop on the doorstep.

"The bank building has lain empty in a state of disrepair since the closure of the branch in June 2017 and the applicant has recognised that the premises presents not only an opportunity for sustainable expansion of the community hub, but the re-purposing of a dormant cornerstone of one of Rosyth’s local shopping centres.

"The new premises will offer RCPL more than six times the floor area and will allow the charity to deliver the community services that they already

have the resources to provide."

Rosyth Community Hub began in 2016 in Aberlour Street, it has grown hugely through that time but has also become a life-saver for those stuck in self-isolation at the outbreak of the pandemic – teaming up as an official partner of Fife Council.

As well as being a surplus food shop and community cafe, the hub hosts community events, cooking classes, elementary food hygiene classes and vital counselling sessions.

They have been able to cultivate a network of local collaborators such as Greggs, Lloyds Bank, Nationwide, Stephens Bakery and Tesco as well as additional support from local primary schools.

As their services have expanded, the community hub has increased its part-time staff posts from three to six.

The planning statement added: "Rosyth Community Hub exists solely to serve local people and, as a result, are deeply rooted in the community of Rosyth.

"The community have voted with their feet and the overwhelming popularity of RCPL’s services have demonstrated the need for such a resource to exist and the urgency with which it must now expand.

"The proposed change of use to the building at 115 Queensferry Road not only provides a new home for a thriving community asset but re-purposes a key part of Rosyth’s built fabric that has become a negative asset."

The purchase of the building has been achieved thanks to an award of £285,000 from the Scottish Land Fund & The National Lottery Community Fund Scotland.