Fife Employment Access Trust (FEAT) are celebrating a significant award from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to transform the future of Silverburn Park in Leven.
FEAT are a Fife-wide award-winning mental health and employment specialist charity, also celebrating their 25th anniversary this year and are celebrating an award of £374,600 initially by the Fund to enter the formal development phase of the project which ultimately aims to renovate the B-listed former flax mill in the Park into a hub of commercial and community activities ranging from a hostel, café and community space, serving local people and visitors from the Fife Coastal Path.
Duncan Mitchell, General Manager at FEAT, says, “It’s been a long road to get to this point and I have to thank Fife Council and particularly current and previous members of the Levenmouth Area Committee who gave us the opportunity to lease the Park and hopefully spark new life into the site with wider benefits for the local community.”
It was back in 2012 that Fife Council marketed Silverburn as a development opportunity as a way of securing its regeneration, while at the same time safeguarding public access and the natural and historical value, with FEAT being named as the preferred partner.
Since then a wealth of activity has taken place to begin the regeneration of the Park and undertake the feasibility studies, community consultations and detailed designs – as well as fully cost the renovations work.
Duncan adds, “The funding from National Lottery Heritage Fund will now enable us to focus on securing the remainder of the funding needed to complete the construction phase of the project and finalise the designs for the renovation of the mill, as well as maintaining our vision to develop the Park as a place of quiet enjoyment, conserving the cultural values of the landscape and buildings, supporting the health & wellbeing of the community and enhancing the habitat and biodiversity of the environment. The funding will also support FEAT to ensure that meaningful training, volunteering, work experience and employment opportunities are available to their core client group and the surrounding community.
Once we can establish the final project, it will also be an income-generator for the charity and therefore reduce our reliance on grant funding to sustain our core work.”
FEAT will continue to work in partnership with Fife Council throughout this next phase of the programme, as well as Fife Historic Buildings Trust who have extensive experience – and success – of supporting successful implementation of similar projects across the Kingdom.
Duncan also extended thanks to the William Grant Foundation and the Architectural Heritage Fund who, alongside Fife Council, have also contributed to the total funding for the development phase.
Further details of FEAT’s vision and aims for the Park are available at www.silverburnpark.co.uk and regular updates on the current daily activities at the Park are on their facebook page. Those developments have included managing volunteer and training programmes, opening a small café last year with plans to open a campsite this year as a pre-cursor to the flax mill re-development.
FEAT have also delivered a wide variety of community events and this Saturday (29th June) the Friends of Silverburn group are hosting a free family fun day from 12-3 pm.
Brian Robertson, Chair of the Silverburn project Board, adds, “It’s been a long haul to get to this point of the project and we have a vast amount of work to do now to ensure we can raise the remainder of the funding required to transform the Park – however, the support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund is a huge advantage to us when approaching others – they have shown faith in our plans, and our ability to deliver these plans, and everyone connected with FEAT is on cloud 9.”
Cllr Ken Caldwell convener of Levenmouth Area Committee welcomed the news saying: "This is great news for Levenmouth that FEAT has secured funding from the National Lottery Heritage fund. We're in full support of FEAT and are working closely with them on redevelopment plans for Silverburn Park. We want Silverburn to be an asset for the community; somewhere everyone can enjoy."
Christine May, Chair of Fife Historic Buildings Trust said, "All at FHBT are so proud to have helped the Silverburn team to achieve this wonderful financial support, the result of months of hard work and co-operation. We are looking forward to getting stuck in with all the partners involved and to making the dream a reality."
Members of the Flax Mill project team
Earlier this year we ran a survey monkey and had an excellent response rate that identified a desire from the local community to have a bike-hire scheme at the Park for individuals and families looking to cycle around Silverburn and also venture further afield onto the Fife Coastal Path.
We secured funding from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, as well as a contribution from the Big Bike Revival in Scotland, and are getting ready to open the hire-scheme this summer.
In addition to the public-use bikes, we also secured funding for 4 estate bikes - to be used by staff and volunteers assisting with the park maintenance - using bikes as an alternative way to get around the Park and more environmentally-friendly than our diesel-fuelled van.
These estate bikes have now arrived (supplied by BikeWorks) and we'll have an information session for everyone during the Friends of Silverburn Family Fun Day on Saturday 29th June between 12 and 3. Hope to see you there and tell you all about it!
Thanks to funding from the Aspiring Communities Fund (ACF) with support from the European Social Fund (ESF) we are recruiting for 3 positions to take forward a series of actions identified from an extensive community consultation process.
We are seeking 3 Project Leaders, all postholders working together and creating opportunities for volunteers from a diverse range of
backgrounds and abilities.
Estate Project Leader : responsible for designing and executing a plan for the reinvigoration of the Silverburn Park’s gardens and woodlands, recruiting, utilising and supervising volunteers to deliver the activity, using hand tools.
Growing Project Leader : responsible for designing and executing a plan for the delivery of a seed-to-plate project, recruiting, utilising and supervising volunteers to deliver the activity, including sowing, growing, harvesting, preparing/cooking produce, to be eaten by volunteers, staff and visitors.
Community Project Leader : responsible for marketing and promoting the community activities within the Park, in consultation with the Friends Group and wider community, develop a programme of activities and events and to generate volunteers and in-kind support to deliver these activities.
Each post is fixed-term for 15 months, salary £21,921 per annum (pro rata) and based at No 3 Cottage, Silverburn Park, Leven.
FEAT Trading CIC are the wholly-owned subsidiary of registered charity, Fife Employment Access Trust, and are taking forward plans to regenerate Silverburn Park in Leven, having been selected as the preferred partner of Fife Council.
Our vision is to develop Silverburn as a place of quiet enjoyment, supporting the health and wellbeing of the community, and respecting the habitat and biodiversity of the environment.
Closing date for applications is Monday 10th June at 12 noon, with interviews to be held week commencing 17th June. Application information is available for download below:
The Friends of Silverburn are organising a family fun day on Saturday 29th June from 12-3 pm in the Park.
This event was requested following the large-scale community consultation and public vote last year and will be the second Friends event to be delivered following the vote, with astronomy evenings held last winter.
Silverburn's own Cottage Window Café will be open for business throughout the day and the famous Bouncy Castle Man is organising all of the inflatable entertainment including:
Bouncy Castle Slide
Big Ball Challenge
Boxing Ring with Giant gloves
A DJ will also be on hand throughout the day to keep you all entertained.
The only potential problem with this event: the Scottish weather! Due to the inflatable nature of the activities, we need it to be reasonably dry and not overly-windy - in the event of inclement weather, please check the Silverburn Park facebook page on the morning of the event for updates.
Want to find out what is planned for Silverburn Park? Then come along to one of our public briefings and tours of the park to hear from our Chair, Brian Robertson, about the plans for bring your park back to life.
We want to turn Silverburn back into a park that works for all members of the community and that we can all be proud of.
You can also find out how you can get involved through the Friends of Silverburn Park.
Brian's park tours have been hugely popular over the past year and this is an opportunity to join in, free of charge, and learn more - these will run on Wednesday evenings from April through to August 2019, click the button to secure your place.
Book your space by clicking the link:
If you would like to get involved with sponsoring any of the bands or equipment, do get in touch. The costs of staging the event are high and all contributions help us to keep ticket prices down as well as covering expenses for the bands coming from far and wide to entertain Silverburn.
As well as sponsoring a band, you could also have your company's branding on display in the main music marquee or surrounding area, contact Duncan Mitchell for more information on 01592 759371.
If you can't run to a sponsorship package, you could still support us by supplying a raffle prize for our annual prize draw. So far we've had some amazing prizes donated including VIP passes to Ryze Dundee; Family Season Ticket to Glamis Castle and free return travel between any 2 Scotrail stations in Scotland for a family, thanks to ScotRail. More and more prizes are coming in every day and the raffle greatly helps us to contribute to the costs of the festival, with any surplus left over being reinvested in the Park, so we do rely on you!
The Friends of Silverburn are looking for more people to come forward and join in with our plans. They're looking for people with different abilities and skills, with everyone's contribution valued.
There are lots of ways to help the Friends Group from committee skills, fundraising, event planning, estate management or simply being a Friend and raising the profile of the Park.
Why not come along to the next meeting to find out more : The Centre, Commercial Road, Leven; 25th March 2019 at 7 pm
Interested but can't attend the meeting? Register your interest at firstname.lastname@example.org
With huge thanks to the Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust we have completed the installation of a range of signage around the Park following their grant of £960 towards the costs.
Improved signage was requested repeatedly by those of you who took part in our last large-scale community consultation in late 2017 and so we are delighted to have the new signs in place, and as you'll see when you visit, many of them are also in Gaelic, as we continue to develop links with Gaelic-speakers and visitors.
Please help us in our fundraising efforts for the Park by donating clothing and paired shoes to our new Rag Bag container in the car park.
A supply of bags are available from No 3 Cottage and every time the container is emptied, as well as support recycling, a donation is made to Silverburn Park.
Silverburn Park is thinking about loaning bikes to visitors. This would be a FREE service, encouraging local people to visit Silverburn, have fun and be healthy.
A chance to cycle on traffic-free paths and improve your confidence in the saddle!
A way of introducing children to cycling without having to carry their bike home when wee legs get tired!
And a good way to learn some basic bicycle maintenance, and to get a helping hand with fixing your own bike.
What do you think?
Have your say at our survey monkey page!
Silverburn Park - Trading Name of FEAT Trading CIC - Company Limited by Guarantee
Registered in Scotland, Company no. SC434244
Fife Voluntary Sector Award Winner : Green/Environmental Category 2016 & Runner-Up in 2017
Groundwork UK Community Awards 2017 : Finalist in Category of Education/Employment
Fife Business Diversity Awards 2017 : Finalist in Category of Health & Disabilities Employer
Kingdom FM Local Hero Awards 2018 - Finalist in Best Community Group
Wholly owned subsidiary of Fife Employment Access Trust, 6-8 Hanover Court, Glenrothes KY7 6SB Charity No: SC022263