Fife’s own bestselling crime writer Val McDermid was the special guest of Silverburn Park as works got underway on the restoration of the B-listed former flax mill this week.
Fife Employment Access Trust (FEAT) have been working alongside Fife Council for several years to deliver the overall vision for Silverburn’s regeneration – to create a unique community space, that works for the community, and that the whole community can be truly proud of.
The final result will be a visitor centre and community hub offering jobs, training, space for retail and creativity, alongside a hostel for visitors coming to the area on the new Levenmouth Rail Link and via the Fife Coastal Path.
Dougie Saunders, chairperson of FEAT Trading CIC, joined by the Site Manager from Clark Contracts, Stewart Ferguson, led Ms McDermid and a number of guests from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Fife Council, Levenmouth Reconnected Programme and others on a short tour inside the mill to describe the works ahead in more detail, followed by a tour of the walled garden.
Dougie commented: “This really is a milestone moment after so many years of planning, preparation and fundraising and everyone connected with the project is looking forward the day we can re-open the doors of the mill to the general public.
“It has been an incredible team effort to get to this stage, though there is still a massive amount of work and forward planning to do.”
Val added: “It’s great to see work starting on the flax mill project and I can’t wait to see the finished result.
“I’ve got very happy memories of this area and it’s a very exciting time for Levenmouth at the moment.
“The extension of the railway is going to make a terrific difference – it will open up this whole area to let people see what they’ve been missing, and I think there’s a lot here that people have been missing.”
The flax mill redevelopment will take over two years to complete and FEAT are optimistic that the new facility will be open during early 2026, though in the meantime their award-winning camping and glamping site will remain open along with their Cottage Window Café.
Dougie concluded: “The café will hopefully do particularly well in the coming two years with so many construction staff on site needing fed and watered!”
For more information about the development, visit www.silverburnpark.co.uk
Our main picture shows left to right: Dougie Saunders, chairperson of FEAT Trading CIC; Val McDermid; Christine May, chair of Fife Historic Buildings Trust; and Councillor Eugene Clarke, vice-convener of Levenmouth Area Committee.
A short video highlighting Val's visit is also available on the Levenmouth Reconnected YouTube channel here.