Lochgelly – St Andrew’s Church
FHBT’s on-going project with Fife Council at St Andrew’s Church in Lochgelly was identified through a ‘charrette’ exercise sponsored by Scottish Government that gave local people an opportunity to participate in a discussion about how physical, social and economic sustainability might be achieved. The project seeks to tackle issues of health and wellbeing through the adaptation of the church to create a climbing and bouldering centre.
Throughout 2017 we worked with ECD Architects and John Smart & Son main contractors on a £ 736k project to repair the church and make it ready for bouldering walls. A second phase now has planning consent and will see the construction of an extension for climbing walls that will accommodate competition-level events and attract visitors from across Scotland. Work will start on site in 2019 and the proposed new Fife Regional Climbing Centre will be managed by social enterprise Rockgelly on completion – we hope in 2020.
The project demonstrates how heritage can contribute to social and economic improvements in communities as part of a partnership approach. Funded by the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grants Fund and by Fife Council, it contributed – alongside the efforts of local people and partner organisations over many years – to Lochgelly’s success in being named “Scotland’s Most Improved Town” at the SURF awards in 2016.
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