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The hut
The hut

Upgrade for valued local community hut

The Middle Balbeggie Fund has helped with the overdue upgrade of the 'Pensioners Hut', a valued community venue in Thornton.

The Middle Balbeggie Wind Farm Community Fund, provided by Netro Energy, has been supporting projects which benefits residents of the Thornton Community Council area since 2017.  

Thornton, a village in Fife located between Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes, has a population of around 2,300. One of the key facilities in the village is the ‘Pensioners Hut’ a small community hall built by local residents in the 1950 which is owned by Fife Council and operated by Thornton Pensioners Welfare Society.

The Thornton Pensioners Welfare Society provide the advancement of education, the advancement of health, the advancement of citizenship or community development, the relief of those in need by reason of age, ill-health, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantages. In practice this involves running a series trips and events primarily for older people in Thornton and running the Pensioners Hut.

The Pensioners Hut is used to host a programme of events and outings for older residents of the area, providing regular opportunities to enjoy social connections. However, it is also used by a wide variety of local community including the local football team, slimming club, pigeons club, highland games committee and occasional use by the local schools and occasional lets for birthday parties etc.

The entire population of Thornton, around 2,000 people, benefit from the group's activities and premises.

In 2023 the Pensioners Welfare Committee was awarded just over £8,300 to upgrade the bathroom facilities within the Pensioners Hut, which they believe may have been the original ones built in 1950, so everyone agreed an upgrade was well overdue.  

Previously old and unheated facilities have now been refreshed to modern, fit for purpose bathrooms. This has been especially important for older residents, those with disabilities and additional needs as it has allowed for upgrading one WC to be fully accessible.  

The Committee expects that having improved, accessible, facilities will increase bookings, allowing the group to generate additional income which can then be re-invested into the community.

Since its launch, the Middle Balbeggie Wind Farm Community Fund has supported 26 projects with grants totalling almost £97,000.  The fund aims to enhance the quality of life for local residents; contribute to vibrant, healthy, successful, and sustainable communities; and promote community spirit and community activity.