Building For The Future – FVA premises in Kirkcaldy undergo major renovation
Fife Voluntary Action’s office in 16 East Fergus Place, Kirkcaldy is now in the midst of a major programme of work designed to ensure that the buildings, originally built in the 1860’s, are brought back to a condition which will ensure their long-term use and be a vibrant centre for third sector activity in the Kirkcaldy area.
When the premises were occupied last year by FVA it was, and remains their ambition to establish a “Third sector Hub”. This would offer affordable, serviced office accommodation and meeting space for local voluntary organisations and by bringing organisations together under one roof, create a stronger community of third sector interests. However, that one roof was to then cause significant problems!
It was not long until the discovery of extensive problems associated with dry rot and water penetration jeopardised that vision. Working in partnership with Fife Council an ambitious programme of remedial work was identified to bring the building back to health and a successful application was made to Scottish Government for funding support.
A £750,000 programme of work is now underway but will cause some disruption to normal life for the groups and organisations currently using the premises. The scale and nature of the work is so great that the premises need to be partly vacated to allow contractors necessary access and ensure safe working conditions.
Fortunately, access has been secured to the former library HQ at East Fergus Place premises next door and tenants and FVA themselves will face a temporary move for a period of several months. In what will prove to be a major exercise in logistics – a bit like trying to arrange a dozen “flittings” in a couple of days and ensuring that all the facilities we take for granted in an office are functioning from the moment we move in. Telephones, computer networks, laying in of new cabling, heating, security systems, signage and removal contractors, temporary storage space all feature high in the minds of FVA.
The move is planned to start around the 4th April for the majority of organisations, though CARF will move during the last week in March. The move will be designed to ensure minimal disruption to the services offered by these organisations and to their clients.
Kenny Murphy, Chief Executive Officer, said: “This essential renovation work will ensure these buildings are a resource for the third sector for years to come."
“We are really encouraged by the response to the move from our current tenants. People are focussing on what the building will be like after the refurbishment and being very practical and pragmatic about the move, see the necessity and will work to solve any short-term problems.”
FVA are making a considerable financial investment in this programme by bearing some of the costs that cannot be met from the Government grant. This investment is evidence of our belief and commitment to the idea of a “Third Sector Hub” and the role we play in supporting and developing a strong third sector, and ensuring that Kirkcaldy has a centre and base for local organisations that will be the envy of many across Scotland.