News from Levenmouth Area Committee

Councillors on the Levenmouth Area Committee met this morning for their May meeting.

Here's a summary of the main items discussed.

Through the Gears project paying off for Levenmouth communities

A ground-breaking project which helps lessen the impact of anti-social behaviour on communities has been lauded by Levenmouth councillors.

The Levenmouth Area Committee agreed to support the Through the Gears initiative with £13,715 of funding from the Local Community Planning Budget (LCPB) back in October, and committee members were given an update on its progress earlier today (Wednesday).

The project, which is provided by Kingdom off Road Motorcycle Club (KORMC) and Fife Council Community Learning and Development colleagues, aims to make off road motorcycling more accessible to young people in a safe and friendly environment, whilst at the same time reducing illegal and anti-social motorcycling within local communities.

Young people referred into the scheme all have very poor to no attendance and engagement in school, struggle with low confidence and self esteem, and have social and/or peer issues in school and/or in the community.

However, the approach taken via Through the Gears has proved very successful so far, and feedback from teachers at Levenmouth Academy has shown specific benefits in terms of helping young people back into mainstream education.

As well as giving young people a healthy and supervised outlet for motorbike riding, the project also gives participants an education about the dangers of illegal motorcycle use and fire raising, as well as motorbike workshop and maintenance sessions, and drug/alcohol awareness sessions.

Classroom lessons with Police Scotland, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and drug and alcohol partners are part of the programme, focusing on victim perspective and how anti-social behaviour impacts negatively on the community.

And those participants who build a level of skill in using a motorbike get the opportunity to enter local and potentially national championships, meaning they have a unique chance to take part in events that they would not normally have been able access.

Councillor Colin Davidson, Levenmouth Area Committee convener, commented: “The Levenmouth Area Committee has consistently supported approaches that help to reduce the impact of anti-social behaviour on its communities, and the results have been really encouraging for several years.

“We pride ourselves on partnership working in Levenmouth and this project works with several agencies who refer into the programme, including Police Scotland as a key partner and referrer along with Levenmouth Academy, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Clued Up and Barnardo’s.

“It’s clear that the Through the Gears project is making a real difference - not only to the young people involved but also to our communities.”

Funding for four key Levenmouth projects approved

Funding towards four key projects in the Levenmouth area has been secured to the tune of just over £223,830.

The bulk of the cash coming from the Community Recovery Fund (CRF) will be set aside for the renewal of the Leven Promenade skatepark, with £150,000 allocated to that particular project which is currently in the pipeline.

The Leven Skatepark revamp, which is likely to cost an estimated £320,000, has been driven by local groups and there is a representative skatepark group who have been leading on the design and consultation process.

The existing infrastructure will be removed and replaced, while an upgrade of the draining system also forms part of the plans being taken forward.

A separate application for funding has been lodged with the Levenmouth Reconnected Programme.

Leven Skatepark

Elsewhere, funding of just over £8,663 will go towards the installation of a Happy Hut unit at the Homelands Trust facility on Links Road, Lundin Links.

The charity works to improve the quality of life of individuals affected by disability, people with life limiting conditions and their carers, through the provision of high-quality holiday accommodation.

With that in mind, the charity wants to erect a wheelchair-accessible horticulture hut in the grounds of Homelands that will act as an activity space for its large group of horticulture volunteers.

As well as increasing capacity to involve more volunteers and make indoor horticulture tasks more accessible, the charity plans to use the woodworking skills of some volunteers to make garden planters and other small items to sell to make the project sustainable, in terms of buying more seeds and woodworking consumables.

Meanwhile, councillors also agreed a retrospective contribution of £43,492.79 towards the costs of resurfacing the Promenade car park, and a contribution of £22,000 towards a set aside fund to support climate adaptation projects.

Funding of £17,000 had previously been agreed to resurface a smaller area of the Promenade car park, but a fuller overlay of the car park was needed to protect it from the elements – and therefore a higher bill incurred.

As for the climate adaptation projects, the funding will support clubs and community facilities who want to reduce their energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

Four applications are being progressed, namely from CLEAR, the Community Trade Hub, Kennoway Bowling Club and the Methilhill Community Children’s Initiative, and the council’s funding is expected to help them offset some of the rising costs of heating and lighting.

Other funding decisions

Councillors on the Levenmouth Area Committee also took a number of other important funding decisions during today’s meeting that will support the aims and objectives of the wider Levenmouth Plan.

Firstly, the committee agreed to contribute £30,000 per year from the Local Community Planning Budget (LCPB) Anti-Poverty Budget to match fund and support a four-year programme of training and skills development starting in April 2025.

The proposal, which will be part funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF), will support the Green Skills approach taken in Levenmouth in recent years and will support maintenance requirements for the River Leven valley area as improvement work there progresses over the coming years.

This approach is supported by Fife Council Employability who provide a wraparound support service to clients, and will provide a range of training programmes for youths and adults, see work placements arranged, support learners to progress into work/training, and ensure that at least 70% of all participants move into a positive destination.

A further £23,000 was also approved to support holiday activities through both Fife Council’s Community Learning and Development (CLD) and the Community Trade Hub.

This funding will be drawn from the anti-poverty budget, as much of the provision will be made free to ensure no financial barriers to participation.

The Community Trade Hub has offered holiday activities for several years now and this funding will support activities over the summer holidays and during the October break.

CLD provision will be built on feedback from previous years’ offers and is likely to include family food and fun sessions; community walks; a community fitness and obstacle event at Buckhaven Braes; motor bike safety sessions; the Goblin Car Project which expands the reach of STEM projects at Methil Centre; cycling activity sessions; the popular Community Cinema outdoor screenings; outdoor learning activities; and the ever popular Roller Rink at Leven Centre, which has been very well received and enjoyed.

Finally, councillors also agreed to use £30,000 from the LCPB (Local Community Planning Budget) Anti-Poverty towards the cost of providing enhanced assistance to tackle fuel poverty concerns in Levenmouth, under the Cosy Kingdom framework.

Cosy Kingdom will carry out door knocking and leafleting in areas of focus as well as attending community events to talk directly to local people and organising their own information events in local venues.

Advice may include options for physical improvements to the home including draught proofing and insulation right the way through to exploring the possibility of installing a new heating system through available grant support.

The enhanced focus on Levenmouth will also mean people could benefit from new carpets and underlay as part of the package offered for hard-pressed households.

On average, Fife Council has seen a return of £2 of client benefit for every £1 invested in grant and, although there will be a focus on certain areas, support is being offered to anyone in Levenmouth if required.

Full papers

Councillors also considered reports on the excellent performance of Fife Council's domestic waste, street cleansing and grounds maintenance service, and the work of Fife Council's fantastic Community Learning and Development Team.

The full agenda and reports in detail is available to view here.