Please send me SCA's fortnightly briefing:

September 15, 2010

Sport can anchor communities

LPL promotes the concept of community anchor organisations, highlighting the crucial part they play in building strong communities.  Different groups can fulfil this role, but what they offer in terms of providing a degree of local leadership and supporting an array of less formal activity seems a consistent feature.  Interesting to see the number of community sports hubs that are starting to emerge.  Tayport Development Trust are celebrating the first steps towards realising a multi-million pound vision

Craig McManamon, The Courier

An ambitious plan to transform a large section of land in Tayport into a sports and community centre is continuing.  That was the message from Tony Gowland, chairman of the Tayport Community Trust, which is spearheading the multi-million-pound vision.

Through grants and fund-raising the group aims to take control of the town’s former Abertay site, on Shanwell Road, and adjacent land to build the centre.  As yet this has not been authorised by Fife Council who it is understood agreed a 125-year lease with the trust.

A blueprint of the designs went on display last year and revealed a games hall, multi-purpose hall and meeting place.  They also showed new tennis courts, a community greenhouse and gardens and space for facilities such as tourist accommodation, shops and studios.

But the recession has had a damaging impact on the progress of the plan with many of the grants and trusts the group depends on for funds closing in the economic downturn.

“The biggest problem has been funding to take the project forward,” said Mr Gowland.  He said now that the Big Lottery Investing in Communities has reopened they will apply for that.

“We are still going ahead with this,” he said.  Just last week the group celebrated news that the last piece of funding was in place to open a new community cafe in the town.

Members now face a greater struggle to secure even more money for the next project.  “We don’t know at this stage how much it will cost, but it will be millions of pounds.  “The Tayport Community and Sports Action Group, which is a sub group, already raised £48,000.

“That money is still there and will be used for this project because that is what people donated for, but a lot of the trusts have closed down.”  As well as much-needed community facilities, the project could provide jobs and educational and training opportunities.  It has received the backing of North-East Fife MP Sir Menzies Campbell and MSP Iain Smith, who have been impressed by the drawings.