Kingdom secures new homeThursday 24 May 2018
Kingdom Brass is celebrating after securing new rehearsal facilities, thanks to 18 months of hard work in securing a Community Asset Transfer (CAT) alongside Fife Council.
Introduced by the Government in 2015, the CAT legislation allows community groups to apply for ownership of surplus council buildings.
Band Secretary John Todd explained the process: “When we moved out of our old rehearsal base in the Haldane Hall about 10 years ago and moved into the Co-op Hall on the other side of Cowdenbeath, we were advised by the council that we had secure premises, and could eventually apply for a long term lease on the building. On the strength of that promise we launched the Kingdom Brass Youth Initiative and Percussion Academy, something we couldn't do in the old Haldane Hall because it lacked the basic facilities needed. We built up a superb youth setup that eventually led to the formation of our 'B' Band. We started work on the lease for the Co-op Hall, and all appeared to be progressing well until we received the shock news that the offer of the lease was withdrawn suddenly, and the council now had other plans for the building.”
“Following that news, and with uncertainty around our rehearsal base, we had no option but to scale back our youth development programme, basically put it all on hold until we could get a permanent home secured. We worked with Fife Council for a while looking at various buildings, but none met our requirements. We had some discussions with local politicians and councillors, and that's when the CAT process was recommended to us, and we became aware that the library building in Kelty was now vacant as the library had moved to the new Community Centre in Kelty.”
“With the CAT legislation being so new, I think we are one of the first community groups in the country to go down this route. It's taken us 18 months to get the application completed and through the various council committees, so to finally have it all approved is great news for the band. We have an £80,000 plan in place to fully refurbish the building which will give us state of the art facilities, we’re now able to relaunch our Youth Initiative and we have a new ‘Patrons scheme’ in the pipeline, all ready for our 20th anniversary next year.”