An SOS call has been issued in a last ditch attempt to save a closure-threatened heritage centre in Fife.
Glenrothes Heritage Centre volunteers have made a final bid to attract new blood and stop its vast collection of historic artefacts, photographs and other items from being broken up.
The Courier revealed in September the three star Visit Scotland tourist attraction was to close for good due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and a failure to attract new trustees.
Hundreds voiced their disappointment and offered support for the centre, which opened its permanent venue in the town’s Kingdom Shopping Centre in 2012.
Among the vast archive of historic artefacts is a collection from the estate of the Earl of Rothes.
It includes the number eight plaque from the lifeboat rowed by the Countess of Rothes at the sinking of the Titanic.
The organisation gained national prominence in 2012 for its Titanic centenary exhibition, which attracted media attention and visitors from around the world, including Hollywood actress Rochelle Rose, who played the Countess of Rothes in the multi-Oscar winning film.
Linda Ballingall, chairman of the board of trustees, has made a heartfelt last appeal for volunteers to come forward and secure the organisation’s future.
She said: “In 2020, during the pandemic, we decided it was time to hand over to the next generation to take the hub forward into the future, however, a new team could not been found which resulted in the decision being made to wind-up the hub completely.
“The public reaction to this announcement was quite overwhelming.
“Sadly, although very gratifying to see such a response it did not spur anyone to offer their services as a Trustee.
“It should be noted that running the centre is a full-time business commitment, (it is) open to the public five days of the week.”
With time running out, Linda said talks are re-continuing with several organisations including Fife Cultural Trust, Fife Council Archive and St Andrews University over how to preserve the collection.
“I am extremely proud to have taken the Heritage Centre this far.
“It has taken a great deal of hard work by a very small team over the past 13 year to create and establish this important tourist attraction.
“It would be a tragedy to see it close as I strongly believe that Glenrothes and its surrounding towns and villages fully deserves recognition.
“Therefore, I am making a final appeal to any interested parties with a proven track record in business, finance, book-keeping, research, administration and health and safety to get in touch with me.
“There is still so much potential for growth if people can be found to take the centre into the future.”
Those wanting to get involved can do so by emailing Linda at linda.glenrothesheritage@gemail .com.