HIGHLY successful local band, Kingdom Brass, have been given the keys to the former Kelty Library.

They are the first community group to take over a former council asset and have big plans for the building which will be used to provide a music hub, rehearsal space for groups and individuals, delivery of a youth programme and storage of instruments.

The band, which has been based in Cowdenbeath for many years, saw the former library as a chance to get a good building which they could mould into an ideal training headquarters to prepare for the tournament season.

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Vice Convener of the council's Assets, Property and Facilities Committee Gary Guichan handed over the keys to the building to Kingdom's William McLaughlin, watched by the band's Michelle McLaughlin and Paul Hamilton along with Councillor Alex Campbell, saying he was delighted that the building was to be used by the community in this way.

He added: “The way the council delivers services continues to evolve and we no longer need so many buildings across Fife.

"By going through the community asset transfer process, Kingdom Brass can now benefit from these premises and I would encourage groups across Fife, who can demonstrate they can use our buildings for the benefit of their community, to get in touch with the Community Asset Transfer Team.”

Kingdom Brass have been looking to secure their own premises for some time. They first submitted their application in December 2016 after identifying the former Kelty Library as a suitable venue.

The group have strong links with the community and aim to deliver musical opportunities to improve the social and mental wellbeing of that community.

John Todd, Secretary of Kingdom Brass, is delighted to finally have the keys to the building. He said: “Securing our own rehearsal facilities will finally give us the stability we’ve been seeking since moving out of the Haldane Hall, in Cowdenbeath, a decade ago.

"Kingdom Brass was of course formed from the merger of the Kelty & Blairadam and Cowdenbeath bands, and this move comes in our 20th anniversary year.

"We've enjoyed great success winning the Scottish Challenge Shield and the Fife Champions Cup, just two of almost twenty trophies and awards we won in a very successful 2018, culminating in being named Scotland’s ‘Band of the Year’.

"The tradition of having a brass band in Kelty goes back to the 1850’s, and while we’ve been very lucky to have performed all across Europe and the UK, including performing in prestigious venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, it does feel special bringing the band back to Kelty.”

Added Cllr Guichan: “This move will provide a great opportunity for children and young people to be involved in music and feel part of a supported community.

"Kingdom Brass are an organisation embedded firmly in the Cowdenbeath area and I wish them continued success in their new premises.”