Built in 1923 by the Coalboard Welfare Trust, the Miners' Institute is a grade B listed building following the ‘Free Baroque’ style of the time, with a fine Venetian window and a war memorial built above the door.
After falling into disrepair after a period of fifteen years when the building was not in use, floors and ceilings had collapsed and extensive rot permeated the building. The future of the Institute was far from secure and demolition was one of the options considered. Through collaboration between Fife HARCA, Fife Council and the Lochgelly Old Peoples Welfare Committee, ownership of the building was secured by Fife Council. A partnership was established involving Fife HARCA, Fife Council and the Heritage Building Preservation Trust to develop options and proposals for the building.
Heritage Building Preservation Trust carried out a major exercise in attracting grant funding from a wide range of sources including ERDF (European Regional Development Fund), Historic Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Coalfields Regeneration Trust and the Robertson Trust. Fife Council provided some of the funding through the Regeneration Outcome Agreement. Ore Valley Housing Association secured funding from the now disbanded, Communities Scotland’s Wider Role Fund, and Fife HARCA raised some private financing all of which contributed to the restoration project which was completed at a cost approaching £2.5 million.
The restoration work was completed under the guidance of Heritage Building Preservation Trust and Architects Dearle & Henderson (now ECD Architects) and the physical building work was completed by local contractor Richard Street Ltd., part of the Realm Group based in Lochgelly.
Since its completion in 2007, the Institute has had several different tenants. Recently the decision was made to separate the different floors of the building into premises for several different businesses. Currently our tenants are:
Livingstone and Sons – A true father and sons business, they have taken the top floor and are producers of custom, hand-made clothing and garments in the style of the 1920s, '30s, '40s and '50s. They employ 8 staff and are hoping to recruit some apprentices now that they have enough space to grow in the Institute.
Zodiac School of Dance – Formerly based in a number of community facilities across Fife, Zodiac have taken space in the Institute to create their own dance hub. The school has hundreds of children who attend a variety of classes from street to ballet and they are looking to add yoga, mothers and toddlers groups etc. to their schedule. Their groups have appeared on the X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and So You Think You Can Dance and recently claimed silverware at the World Championships in Glasgow.
Sara Webster Photography – The award winning photographer specialises in newborn photography.
Lochelly Miners' Institute