£20,000 secures bright future for community band project.
The Tullis Russell Mills Band, which was saved from falling silent thanks to a funding boost from the Fife Taskforce, have celebrated their plans for a bright future at their annual carol concert.
Members of the Tullis Russell Mills Band were joined by the Markinch & District Community Choir and the South Parks Primary School Choir to fill the Rothes Halls with festive music.
The band are among a number of local projects that benefited from funding through the Fife Taskforce, which is jointly supported by the Scottish Government and Fife Council. The Task Force aims to support people, businesses and local communities impacted by the closure of Tullis Russell and other recent closures in the Central Fife area.
The £20,000 awarded will not only will support current activities but it will help protected the long-term future of the band, working towards achieving charitable status and establishing a local musical centre of excellence.
Mr Swinney said: "Christmas is a time for communities to come together, something the people of Glenrothes have done with strength this year.
"I am delighted to announce today that the Fife Taskforce has hit the right notes, supporting this band by investing £20,000 to secure their future and growth.
"There is no better start to the festive season than to celebrate this support. As well as a lovely occasion it is wonderful to know that the money raised from the concert will go towards a local charity.
"The Tullis Russell closure has been a major blow to the local community and we remain very focused on supporting those affected recover from this event."
Cllr. David Ross, Leader of Fife Council, said: "The Task Force was set up to go beyond providing support to the workforce directly affected by the closure but also to support the surrounding community. The Tullis Russell Mills Band is a highly valued local organisation that encourages young people into music and provides entertainment for many others.
"I'm very pleased that we have been able to provide support for this valuable local group through the Task Force."
Steven Craig, Tullis Russell Mills Band Leader said: "This Summer the band feared for our future. We would have found it very difficult, especially over the next two-three years, to continue without this investment and support. It has not only helped the band enormously but it has given us confidence for the future.
"The development of a musical centre of excellence will allow us to give more young people in the Glenrothes area the opportunity to learn how to play an instrument. The benefits of learning to play an instrument are not limited to making music but are life skills that can be applied to almost anything that you put your mind to. It builds individual confidence as well as creating a stronger community.
"The concert is a magnificent way to kick off the Christmas festivities. This event reflects the spirit of Christmas and I would like to thank the band members, and the two local choirs for all their hard work to make the concert such a special occasion."
The concert is a celebration of traditional and modern carols and other seasonal songs and involves local children and young people. Proceeds from the regular fixture in the Christmas calendar will be donated to a local charity.
The Fife Taskforce has allocated a total of £6 million support local projects to develop business growth, community regeneration and business infrastructure in the region. In addition to this 288 of the 446 Tullis Russell workers have been supported back into employment and the entire redundant workforce can access future education and training.
The Scottish Government announced £250,000 support for Community Regeneration in Central Fife. Projects developed with Fife Council to provide support for the communities most affected by the closure of Tullis Russell. This includes town centre improvements, support for community groups, support for the Tullis Russell Mills Band and a retail showcase and education centre.