Community support

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000

Description

Silverburn Estate is a 27-acre woodland estate in Levenmouth, on the Fife Coastal Path. Fife Council were gifted the park and its buildings by the Russell Family in the 1970s, subject to certain conditions, in particular that the park must remain for the benefit of the public, and especially the people of Leven. The conditions are set out in a conservation agreement which is overseen by the National Trust for Scotland.

Fife Council have maintained the formal gardens and carried out some woodland management, but the buildings have deteriorated, the woodlands need more active management, and the estate was not maximising its potential. FEAT Trading were chosen as the Council’s preferred partner to enhance Silverburn’s potential and its value to the community. FEAT Trading is the trading arm of Fife Employment Access Trust - a charity that develops the employability of people with mental health conditions.

The social purpose and vision of FEAT Trading CIC is to develop Silverburn Park as a place of quiet enjoyment, enhancing the health and wellbeing of the community and respecting the habitat and biodiversity of the environment.

FEAT Trading have created a business plan, approved by Fife Council, with the longer-term aim of redeveloping the B-listed former flax mill on site to become a hostel, cafeteria and meeting space provider. The activities we now propose will complement these wider aims, in particular by developing community activities.

Our plans have been the subject of a community consultation and a whole host of ideas have been put forward by the local community for recreational, educational, health and wellbeing activities on the site.

What we’ll do

We will work with the local community to develop activities to engage local people, and get them using the park. Activities will include
• improving the playpark
• purchasing equipment for community events
• installing raised beds for community growing
• creating recreational activities
• promoting healthy outdoor relaxation
• developing educational and community activities
• recruiting volunteers for all these activities
• further developing consultation with the community

Who the activity is aimed at

In keeping with the conservation agreement, the main target group for these activities are the people of Levenmouth.

Levenmouth is over-represented in the 5%-15% most deprived datazones in Scotland. The area is in great need of the benefits our work will bring – which is why the Council are supporting us.

Specific groups which our activities will target include
• Parents and children
• People experiencing mental health problems
• People who need to undertake more outdoor activity, perhaps as part of a health plan or needs assessment
• Schools and nursery groups
• Special interest groups – this might include dog walkers, people with an interest in heritage, and many others

Membership is open to everyone in the local area and members will prioritise the action plan and agree activities.

How we’ll deliver it

We will recruit a Friends of Silverburn Co-ordinator to work with local communities, individuals, and organised groups, to take forward and develop many of the ideas that came from past consultation and really get the park thriving again.

The post will recruit volunteers, and co-ordinate people and activities. The Friends Group will manage a small participatory budget.

The changes the activity will make

• Improved community development and renewed community spirit
• Better access to healthy outdoor activities
• Improved health outcomes for individuals
• Personal development and growth for volunteers

Increasing community use of the estate (which once had around 25,000 visitors per year) will help secure larger scale capital funding for the refurbishment of the flax mill on site, allowing the development of commercial activities that give the park a financially stable future

Project Video

FEAT Trading CIC

Moment of Pride

The entire Silverburn project is a mammoth undertaking for a community-focused group run by volunteers but everyone associated with FEAT Trading has taken it on eagerly & have shown great resilience in handling the many challenges faced - often unexpected and unknown circumstances. We deserve this!

Location: Silverburn Park, Largo Road, Leven KY8 4PU