Cupar’s past could be the key to its future

David Kirk (left) and Guthrie Hutton are working together to help put Cupar on the tourist map
David Kirk (left) and Guthrie Hutton are working together to help put Cupar on the tourist map

An ambitious three-year project aimed at revitalising Cupar by celebrating its history has reached a significant milestone.

A firm of heritage consultants has been commissioned to come up with ideas for an interpretive plan for the town, which will tell its story through the creative use of historical landmarks.

The firm, Edinburgh-based CMC Associates, will spend the rest of this month and most of March exploring ideas before holding a consultation in the County Buildings on March 30 to which local organisations are being invited.

Funding for the consultants came from the Scottish Government’s Activating Ideas fund.

The project is being spearheaded by Cupar Development Trust, which is working in tandem with Cupar Heritage.

It follows the re-printing earlier this year of the Cupar Heritage Trail leaflet, which traces Cupar’s history with a map linking some of the town’s most iconic buildings and monuments.

It’s being widely circulated in shops, hotels, libraries and other outlets.

The re-launch of the Heritage Trail leaflet in turn was the result of ideas that emerged from a charrette held in the town last summer called CuparCould.

“The aim is to create a more attractive and vibrant town centre that will appeal to people who live in Cupar as much as to visitors,” explained David Kirk, chairman of Cupar Development Trust.

“The town has a very long and rich history and a cultural heritage that is unique in Scotland.

“The consultants will be identifying key themes and presenting a number of creative ideas in an interim report to be produced before the end of March.

“We will be asking local organisations to comment on this and another consultation will be held on March 30.

“We want to see as many groups in the community as possible becoming involved and we’re keen to get the town’s schools on board too.”

Mr Kirk said that the finished interpretive plan is likely to be ready by the end of May and should be implemented within the next three years.

Guthrie Hutton added that he was meeting with historian Flora Johnston of CMC Associates , who would be choosing some themes on which to base the project.

“We don’t know what she’ll choose but there are certainly numerous options,” said Mr Hutton.

“Cupar dates back to medieval times and has a very important heritage as a market town. It also has strong cultural roots and it was here that the Satire of the Three Estates by Sir David Lyndsay was first performed in 1552.”

Visit www.cupardevtrust.org.uk for more information.