Plans to reclaim Adam Smith as Kirkcaldy’s most famous son have taken a significant step forward with major backing for a new exhibition and visitor centre in the heart of the town.
Government funding worth £292,000 was announced today by Eric Pickles, UK Communities Secretary.
He was in Kirkcaldy to see 1 Adam Smith Close - the Esplanade building which will now be transformed into the new centre Adam Smith Global Foundation Exhibition Centre.
He also met with meet trustees of the Foundation, and members of Kirkcaldy’s Ambitions, Kirkcaldy4All and Fife Council.
The money from the Coastal Communities Fund will go towards the cost of the project which comes in at £700,000. Support has also come from the Council, Historic Scotland and Fife Environment Trust.
It is the first project to be announced as part of the second round of grants from the fund.
Mr Pickles said: “Adam Smith was one of Kirkcaldy’s most famous sons and was rightly given pride of place on the United Kingdom’s £20 note.
“So, it’s great the Global Foundation is making his legacy a catalyst for regenerating Kirkcaldy and the local economy.
“The UK Government is backing businesses, local areas and industries to prosper, and build a stronger economy across the country.
“I am delighted to announce over £250,000 for the new exhibition centre which will help Kirkcaldy tap into new business opportunities that will create local jobs, boost the local economy and develop skills that will benefit the whole community.”
The CCF has supported 19 projects in Scotland with grants totalling £4m. UK-wide it has helped in 130 seaside towns.
Marilyn Livingstone, chief executive of the Foundation, said: “This funding will allow completion of this amazing project, which will support the legacy of Adam Smith in his birthplace of Kirkcaldy as well as kick-starting Kirkcaldy’s ambition to regenerate its historic Merchant’s Quarter.”
Mr Pickles met the people behind the key organisations in an informal gathering hosted by Kirkcaldy4All before visiting the Old Kirk - where Smith was baptised - and then the building which will become the new centre.
>> Full report and more details on the plans for 1 Adam Smith Close in this week’s Fife Free Press out on Thursday.