Dreel Halls is the new name for the listed building complex formerly known as the Anstruther Wester Town Hall, the Hew Scott Hall and the St Nicholas Tower. Until 2013 they were owned by Fife Council through the Common Good Fund and the Church of Scotland. They were operated in two separate parts by the local church and Anstruther Improvements Association.
Townscape Heritage Initiative
The building complex formed part of a bid for grant funding to the Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI), funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and designed to help communities regenerate Conservation Areas. In April 2010 £915,000 was awarded to Anstruther with a large chunk for the purpose of conserving and restoring important local historic buildings to bring them back into productive use. The Hew Scott Hall, St Nicholas Tower and Wester Anstruther Town Hall, together with the Murray Library, were the two main priority projects within the Initiative and this opportunity prompted the buildings’ owners (Fife Council and the Church of Scotland) to consider how best to secure their future as a central part of the Anstruther Wester community.
The Anstruther Improvements Association’s role
After much exploration and consultation, the Church of Scotland and Fife Council endorsed a decision for the building to be sold to the AIA, given its status as a community-led charitable organisation.
The project – Phase I
In 2013 ownership of the buildings transferred to Fife Historic Buildings Trust, who oversaw Phase I of an ambitious capital project, working with architectural practice ARC to restore the external fabric of the building so that it is weatherproof and sound. Early in 2014, at the end of Phase I, ownership passed to the AIA. Phase I funders were the Townscape Heritage Initiative (Heritage Lottery Fund), Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (Historic Scotland), Fife Environmental Trust, Fife Council, LEADER in Fife, the Church of Scotland, the AIA, North East Fife Area Common Good Fund and the Fife Historic Buildings Trust.
The project – Phase II
Phase II of the project will upgrade facilities in both halls for performing arts events and community activities and will provide full disabled access. The AIA is currently investigating funding sources for Phase II which will improve the building’s long-term sustainability, extend its use and improve the experience of community users.
If you have any questions about this project, please do not hesitate to contact us through our website or by letter (AIA, Dreel Halls, High Street West, Anstruther, KY10 3DJ).