Kirkcaldy hosts Scotland’s Town Conference

Lesley Laird at Scotland's Town Conference.
Lesley Laird at Scotland's Town Conference.
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Kirkcaldy hosted Scotland’s Towns Conference last week, attracting politicians and decision makers from across the country.

Over 200 professionals flocked to the Lang Toun to attend the event which focussed on how Scottish towns can flourish through partnerships and innovation.

The Adam Smith Theatre and Kirkcaldy Galleries played to speakers including Lesley Riddoch, broadcaster, and Kevin Stewart MSP, Minister for Local Government and Housing, who debated the road ahead.

And getting the event to Kirkcaldy was a coup for our own town

Bill Harvey, manager of Kirkcaldy4All, said: “It’s always good when something like the Scotland’s Towns Conference comes to town because it attracts people from all over Scotland and beyond. It’s good for the town and to put our name on the map.”

He also gave credit to Fife Council for the hard work it did in bringing the conference to Kirkcaldy.

“It was down to the town centre development unit for Fife Council,” he said. “It did most of the work with the Scottish Town Partnership and there were a series of meetings and walk throughs to find a venue. Credit to Fife Council which helped bring the package together. It did a lot of work behind the scenes.”

David Grove, lead officer for town centre development for Fife Council, agreed that the conference was a coup for Lang Toun.

“It’s good to get people up here seeing what we’re doing and to see what they think,” he added.

Both felt that the conference had been a success and that there were lessons that could be learned from the various speeches and debates. Mr Grove admitted that he felt Kirkcaldy could benefit from some of the ideas.

He said: “It’s important that when we’re working on the town centre that we aren’t relying on multi-national businesses. I think that we need to keep things local. We need to focus on making Kirkcaldy a destination again.”

The conference, as well as being an opportunity for people to learn, gave visitors the chance to network. For Kirkcaldy 4 All, the conference had been a productive one.

“There are a lot of things we’ll follow up on, and we made some very good contacts,” Mr Harvey revealed. “We have a meeting in early December with another organisation, and that has the potential for us to partner another town in central Scotland to work together on a project that would be good for us.

“It’s interesting - conferences like these are always an exchange of information. You learn from others and what they are doing, and seeing if it can be utilised and adapted for our town.”