Across the public sector, there is a growing focus on “place” from where joined up public services can be delivered. SFT’s place experts help the public sector rethink how best their buildings can be used to enable joined up services, achieve better outcomes for communities, deliver efficiencies and savings.
And The Waid in Anstruther on the Fife coast typifies that approach. From the outside it looks like a new secondary school. But it’s what happens inside the building that’s creating a buzz in the local community.
When funding from the SFT-managed Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme was approved for The Waid, Fife Council took the bold and ambitious approach to re-examine the building’s purpose for the benefit of the wider community.
So bold was the review and with strategic support and guidance from our “place” experts, today the building boasts a first-class school with sports facilities (that the community use), a fully fitted out library (that the community use), a café (that the community use) and a range of meeting rooms (that the community use).
Not only all that, but the building is also used by the council and its partners to handle general queries from the public and to meet customers by appointment. The local elderly forum use the large meeting room on a regular basis to host their meetings and its members are able to access the café, library and council services while there. All this takes place while the school operates fully and without interruption to teaching. So far-reaching was the vision, that the school building also is used as a base for Police Scotland.
And if you thought that was it, Fife College delivers a selection of courses from The Waid that avoids the need for students to travel. And Fife Council staff use the building’s drop-in hot desks that also reduces the need for local staff to travel and reduces space requirements in other council buildings.
The positive impact The Waid is having is being felt far and wide, with the principles behind it being adopted by many more public bodies across Scotland to deliver improved services and bring the local community closer together, while also achieving improved value to the tax payer.