Work has started to transform an iconic former bank building in Kincardine into a £500,000 state-of-the art Enterprise and Training Hub.
The development is a major initiative designed to tackle economic fallout from last year’s closure of the Longannet Power Station, which cost 230 direct jobs, and an estimated 1000 indirect jobs, at a cost of £50m a year to the local economy.
The Coalfields Regeneration Trust will manage the building with input from partners including Fife Council and Business Gateway Fife, and use it to benefit Scotland’s mining communities, which still lag behind the rest of the country in health, education and job opportunities.
The Coalfields Regeneration Trust bought the near derelict former Clydesdale Bank building at 2 Kirk Street, in partnership with Fife Council and the backing of the Scottish Government and the Longannet Task Force.
Nicky Wilson, Scottish Trustee and vice chairman of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, said: “The Coalfields Enterprise and Training Hub will be a fantastic state of the art facility which will promote an enterprising communities culture across the Longannet area of Fife.”
He continued: “The Hub’s key priority will be to stimulate the local community by providing community activists, aspiring individuals and enterprising organisations access to a unique facility.
“It encourages collaboration, networking, specialist training, support and business growth as well as access to the services of CRT and our partners”.
When renovation and restoration work is complete in spring next year the Coalfields Enterprise and Training Hub is set to offer enterprise, training and employment programmes, and will also be the base for CRT’s seven strong staff team in Scotland.
“This project is a huge challenge for the CRT, but also a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate our ability to get local people involved in developments that will potentially change their lives,” Nicky added.