A new breed of public buildings are springing up in Fife.
Fife Council is taking a new approach, and gone are the days when a public building would only serve one purpose.
The recently opened Waid Community Campus in Anstruther and Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries, the Windmill Campus and Ostlers Way care village in Kirkcaldy are examples.
They are stepping away from the traditional single function to incorporate a host of different facilities and services all under one roof.
These are the key messages contained within a new Building Success strategy recently approved by the asset, property and facilities committee for the period to 2022.
Convener Craig Walker said: “This is the right way forward for Fife Council’s estate.
“We want our buildings to be meeting the needs of our communities, in the places where they are most needed, delivering the services which are most required.”
But there was no escaping the fact that while there has been investment in new buildings, the local authority still had a large number of old inefficient buildings which are not providing best value for the public’s money.
Mr Walker argues the council can make better use of its properties, ensuring facilities are provided in high quality surroundings which are well maintained, well used and easily accessible. To help support a more integrated approach alternative operating models are now in place at a number of locations.
A community asset transfer policy is in place and there are some early examples of community ownership including the former Wellwood Primary School and the Philp Hall in Kirkcaldy.
An energy strategy has been developed to reduce the burden of utilities costs — £15 million in 2016/17 — by reducing energy demand and managing energy costs.
Mr Walker added: “Fife Council, like all other public services, has a duty to make sure that we are spending the money we are given in the most efficient way possible to ensure we are getting the most out of it that we can, for the people of Fife.
“To do this we need to change the way we work, deliver our services differently and make best use of the resources we have.
“This plan will go a long way to help us do that.”
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