Councillors have backed £1million plans hailed by Gordon Brown as “the start of a major revival of Kirkcaldy town centre”.
The package of projects - including an upgrade to the Esplanade Car Park and repairs to the Postings’ steps - were presented to the Kirkcaldy Area Committee yesterday (Wednesday) by the Kirkcaldy’s Ambitions group.
Cllr Neil Crooks, chairman, said: “Over the past wee while there’s been a fair bit of investment in Kirkcaldy. We are at a stage where we will see a phase of real physical transformation of Kirkcaldy town centre over the next two to three years.”
Councillors approved immediate £175,000 plans to refurbish the Mercat Centre floor of the Esplanade multi-storey car park including the introduction of wider bays and smartphone payment facilities.
The cost to repair the Postings’ steps amounted to £95,000, half of which will be sourced from transportation, the other half from the £1m Town Centre Development Fund.
Additional projects include improved signage linking the waterfront to the town centre and future ‘concept’ ideas include year-round lighting at the Memorial Gardens, uplighting for the Old Kirk Tower and ‘robust’ plans to make compulsory purchase orders on dilapidated buildings.
An intensive public consultation is scheduled over the next few months.
Although Cllr Susan Leslie questioned the accountability of the Kirkcaldy’s Ambitions group, other members praised the partnership’s efforts.
Cllr David Ross said: “We’ve seen high falutin’ plans in the past that have come to very little.
‘‘What we have here is the right balance of vision and practical approach which does not raise unrealistic expectations of what can be achieved.”