BENARTY is buzzing – with ideas on how to transform the area through the Coalfields Regeneration Trust’s Community Futures programme which unveiled its survey findings at the Community Open Day on Friday.

Over 300 people turned up to the Open Day to take the chance to vote for their favourite proposals and have a say on which projects should win a share of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust’s £25,000 participatory budget.

This was in conjunction with a local survey and consultation with over 25 local stakeholders.

Among the survey’s headline suggestions were: Better facilities and more to do for local young people; A community cinema for Benarty and an astro turf playing pitch at the community centre.

The survey, which was carried out by the local Community Futures Steering Group to lay the foundations for a 5-year Community Action Plan, also came up with proposals for improvements to the King George V Park and Pavilion in Crosshill and to Lochore Miners Welfare Institute. Among local organisations bidding for share of the £25,000 Coalfields Regeneration Trust participatory budget were: Kids Come First who want to engage with ALL the families in Benarty by providing a free taster session for every primary school child; The Senior and Junior Youth Club: Benarty Elderly Forum, and Benarty Astro’s Football Club.

Michael O’Hare, of the Benarty Forum said, “It was great to see so many people at the Open Day, and to share their enthusiasm for the various projects.

“The steering group would like to thank the local people of Benarty, local businesses, local groups/organisations, Lochgelly High School Pipe Band, Carly (entertainment), and Emma (face painter). Also the Cowdenbeath Area Committee for their assistance. At the event there was a raffle with 50 prizes worth over £1500. For winners please go to

“The Steering Group will now get down to the hard work of analysing all the feedback and pulling together our 5-Year Community Action Plan and choosing which community action bids should get a share of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust’s £25,000 participatory budget”.

The event, which also featured displays from local organisations, won widespread praise from local residents and the Coalfields Regeneration Trust Chief Executive Gary Ellis, and Scottish Trustee Tom McAughtrie.

Gary Ellis said, “It was a delight to be associated with an event like this which seemed to capture the heart of the local community. Everyone I spoke to was hugely positive and enthusiastic about having the chance to shape the area’s future”.

Tom McAughtrie, said, “There was a real ‘feel-good’ spirit at the event, and the level of participation means the 5-Year Action Plan will truly reflect local opinion and priorities”.

Local plasterer Peter McGuire from Ballingry said, “I think this is a fantastic event, and it’s great to see a lot of support for improved facilities for our local young people”.

The Action Plan is due to published within the next couple of months, and the local public will be invited along to the launch of the 5 year plan.