£250k for BID company

It is hoped the Halfords Tour will return to Kirkcaldy this year
It is hoped the Halfords Tour will return to Kirkcaldy this year

COUNCILLORS have agreed to approve funding for the final part of Kirkcaldy4All’s current term in office.

Members of Kirkcaldy Area Committee heard details of an independent evaluation of Kirkcaldy4All Business Improvement District’s (BID) first 28 months of operation.

They agreed to continue providing financial support from the existing area budget for the next two years.

But the members stressed the importance of the BID carrying out improvements particularly in its financial and planning management, monitoring and evaluation and updating its current business plan.

In a report it stated Fife Council would be committed to a maximum contribution of £250,000 over the next two years - the remaining time left from the BID’s five year mandate.

The report was largely positive and noted the success of events arranged by the BID - despite the current economic climate - including the Halfords Tour Series.

Surplus

But Councillor Susan Leslie asked why they were being asked to approve more funding when Kirkcaldy4All had generated a ‘sizeable surplus’ in each of its two full years of operation.

David Grove, Council lead officer for town centres and regeneration, said they were still just half way through their BID term and that the underspend was due to challenges like the lengthy road works on Kirkcaldy High Street and a change of manager in the BID’s first year.

Cllr Leslie said: “What Kirkcaldy4All have done so far has been fantastic, but there are recommendations in the evaluation which have to be carried out particularly the improved financial management and planning.

‘‘I would like this to be in place before any more money goes from the area budget.”

Monitoring

Councillor Arthur Morrison referred to the financial difficulties with Kreative Destiny and wanted to know if stringent monitoring would be in place.

Mr Grove said it was up to Kirkcaldy4All to decide how the money is spent but said there is scrutiny by the BID board members who have access to the management accounts.

Councillor Neil Crooks, chairman, added: “There have been issues, but we are putting in conditions so that weaknesses will be addressed.”