A COWDENBEATH voluntary group has exceeded its fundraising target of £20,000 in under a year!

The Broad Street Centre Legacy Group are this week celebrating the announcement of two additional funders, taking the total raised to £24,400 since the group was formed in July last year.

The organisation confirmed grant support from the Shell UK Community Fund and Fife Council’s Cowdenbeath Area Committee at a cheque presentation held at the Broad Street Centre.

Shell UK, who operate the nearby Fife NGL Plant at Mossmorran, have donated £3500 towards a public exhibition of photos marking nearly four decades of youth work in the town. Over 3000 pictures have been found in archives at the Community Centre and donated by retired Community Workers Kenny Aitken and Evelyn Irvine.

The Shell grant will support the group buy new exhibition equipment to scan all the remaining pictures so they can be saved in a digital archive for the future. There will also be a public exhibition of the photos before the Centre closes in the autumn.

David Burgess, Shell Fife NGL Plant Manager, said: “We are delighted to be supporting this important project for the local community that commemorates and recognises the achievements of the many volunteers and user groups that have used the Centre over the years. Shell has now been working with the local communities close to our operations in Fife for over 32 years.”

Before the recent Council elections, Fife Council’s Cowdenbeath Area Committee agreed a donation of £3000 for the Legacy Group at the Centre. The funds will be used to hold an awards night to recognise the huge effort of Centre volunteers over the last 40 years, as well as an indoor Street Party for residents living in the local area.

Kevin Sayer, Area Services Manager for Cowdenbeath, said: “The Broad Street Centre has made a very significant impact to the local community of Cowdenbeath for almost 40 years. Fife Council are delighted to contribute to the Legacy Group, enabling them to commemorate the fantastic achievements of local volunteers who work very hard for local people.”

A number of other projects are already underway to mark the closure of the Broad Street Centre, which was one of the first community-run centres in Fife. A heritage video will be completed next month and a special time capsule has been created to store some of the mementos from the Centre for future generations.

Speaking at the cheque presentation in Cowdenbeath, Legacy Group chairman, Danny Kinloch said: “It’s a fantastic achievement to burst through our fundraising target already and we want to say a huge thanks to Shell, and ofcourse our partners at Fife Council, for their very generous donations. There will be plenty of people in the town who went to Youth Clubs at the Centre and remember the trips to Mossmorran over the years so it’s fantastic that the company are still involved right up to the end with us.”

“Although it’ll be a sad day when the doors are finally locked for the last time, we know that the Centre will be going out with a bang thanks to the support of so many organisations and people in the town. Fife Council are making a huge investment in our town and the new facility at Stenhouse Street will bring much-needed capacity to help develop services for local people.”

“Thanks must also go to our Secretary, Stuart Duffy, who has done a fantastic job in making these funding applications which have made all of our plans a reality.”

Community Learning & Development facilities will not be lost in the town when the Broad Street Centre closes – a new community facility will open in Stenhouse Street in September this year, following a £2.9million refit and extension. The former Social Work offices, opposite the Leisure Centre, will offer an increase in space for youth work, adult education and training and as a base for community or voluntary sector groups.