A close encounter ...

Adam Smith Close, High Street, Kirkcaldy which is currently blocked off for repair work
Adam Smith Close, High Street, Kirkcaldy which is currently blocked off for repair work
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WORK on repairing the historic stone walls of Adam Smith Close in Kirkcaldy is now underway.

The close, which runs from Kirkcaldy High Street to The Esplanade, is currently closed to allow the removal of layers of modern paint from the walls. Stone repairs and re-pointing in lime mortar will follow as part of the work being carried out by Fife Council.

The project, funded by Kirkcaldy Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS), aims to repair this important surviving feature of Kirkcaldy’s historic conservation area using traditional methods and materials.

The paint removal is being carried out using specialist techniques to make sure the underlying stone is not damaged.

Gill Baldwin of Fife Council said: “Once the repairs are complete, we will look at ideas to use the close to interpret the story of Adam Smith – perhaps through a timeline on the ground. We are looking forward to working with partners to consider these and other ideas.”

Derelict

Once the repairs to the walls are finished, works will begin this summer on the derelict listed building at the Esplanade end of the close - 20 Esplanade has recently been purchased by Fife Historic Buildings Trust, who have been awarded a £185,000 grant from Kirkcaldy CARS, to carry out repairs.

Christine May, Trust chairman, said: “Our first priority has been to remove the hundreds of pigeons, clear out the droppings and prop up the floor so that our team can safely survey the building. We look forward to working with others in Kirkcaldy to develop a future for the property.”

These projects are being carried out in partnership with the Adam Smith Global Foundation and will tie in with exciting work on a new Adam Smith Trail and exhibition in the Old Kirk.

Marilyn Livingstone, a trustee of the Foundation, said: “The idea for the work on Adam Smith Close is to restore the walls to their former glory.

“The vision we have is to create a timeline on the ground of the close so you can see the main milestones in Adam Smith’s life including when he was born and writing the Wealth of Nations.

“It would be good to help regenerate Kirkcaldy on the back of Adam Smith and what he achieved.”