The Hive is Scotland’s largest dedicated LGBT+ community centre!
Based in Kirkcaldy and opened in August 2022, Pink Saltire have transformed a former abandoned retail store in the town centre and created a 10,000 sq ft community hub featuring a cafe, recording studios, mental health suite, meeting rooms, exhibition and performance space and a community library.
The Hive provides services such as an official ‘warm space’, a community fridge and pantry, peer support groups, youth clubs, sexual health testing, mental health programmes and lots of social events and activities to help reduce isolation and create connections as a community together. A second phase development is also planned to create new leisure experiences and an official LGBT archive at the centre in the future.
Over £100,000 was raised through grant funding, local business donations and fundraising by Pink Saltire, who took over the building in the summer of 2020. Key donors and supporters include Fife Council, Kirkcaldy Area Committee, The National Lottery Community Fund, The Scottish Government’s Covid Support Fund, OVO Energy, Sky, Amazon, Arnold Clark, Police Scotland, Fife Cultural Trust, Barratt Homes, Fife Housing Group, Kingdom Housing, Fife Charities Trust and a wide range of local suppliers and trades people.
The Centre was inspired by successful social enterprises at the 4 Unity Hub in Aberdeen and at the Pride Media Centre in Newcastle. Charity founder, Stuart Duffy, who also took inspiration from his years as a youth worker in Fife, said:
“I was really lucky to grow up using and then working for an amazing community centre in Cowdenbeath and I’ve tried to recreate some of the spirit of that old centre here at The Hive – that feeling of community, of belonging and of people coming together to laugh, cry or support each other.”
“Working with a fantastic team of funders, sponsors, donors and volunteers, we’ve created something really special and something which is sadly missed in the bigger cities who once had similar community hubs in Edinburgh and Glasgow. While some stand on the sidelines and say ‘It’ll never happen’ or ‘What a waste of money’, we see and hear the stories every single day from LGBT+ people who are fighting to just survive – whether its the brutal bullying of our young people, the hostile environment created for our trans siblings, or the hate crime against our community at an all-time high – this space stands up proudly as a space where LGBT+ folk come first and they belong.”
“It’s up there as one of our proudest achievements and in a physical form is what we’re all about as a charity – community, empowerment and having a voice. These things are so important to us as LGBT+ people and I’m so privileged to work with a tremendous Board of Trustees, incredibly hard working and talented staff and just the best group of volunteers. This is genuine ‘community wealth building’ in practice – developing the structures in communities which help improve the social connections we have as humans. Whether it’s helping start a Pride boom in Scotland, or establishing hubs like The Hive, we’ve done a great deal as a small charity in under 10 years!”
“The Hive is now a place for the community to use as a base for new services, activism and support – something I could only have dreamed of as a confused schoolboy in the 90’s, but now a reality for all LGBT+ people here in Fife and beyond.”