Decisions on how to spend a package of funding for Kirkcaldy amounting to almost £2 million must be finalised as soon as possible.
Councillors have warned that there should be no procrastination on putting plans into action to ensure that the money available is not lost due to time running out, as has happened on previous occasions.
And assurances have been given by Council officers that extra help will be put in place to ensure projects are progressed quickly – as soon as more detail on how the money should be spent is finalised.
Councillors agreed to recommendations, including the outline allocation for £1 million of funding to develop Kirkcaldy town centre, at a meeting of the Kirkcaldy Area Committee yesterday (Wednesday).
Detailed proposals for the funding, including developing the town’s waterfront, are being drawn up by the Kirkcaldy’s Ambitions group, and a report will be made to the Council following its next meeting on May 1.
Other one-off funding includes £200,000 to renew Kirkcaldy High School’s 3G football pitch; £30,000 for anti-poverty work in Pathhead, Fair Isle and Valley Primary Schools; £90,000 for improvements to Seafield Beach and £320,000 for Pathhead Sands.
The town will also get Fairer Scotland funding of £200,000 and £150,000 for anti-poverty work.
Reporting to councillors, Danny Cepok, Kirkcaldy area services manager, said the funding had been discussed before and would be focused around the ‘Time for Action’ plan drawn up to improve the town centre.
“This will also help with leverage for additional funding from external bodies, and will make the money go even further,” he said, adding that because the project was being taken forward by Kirkcaldy’s Ambitions it meant they could access funding the Council could not.
Councillor Neil Crooks, chairman of the committee, said: “The critical thing is getting the money spent.
“This is now almost May, and we all know we have had problems trying to get projects up and running in the financial year. It is a really critical element of this, and we will be covering it in more detail when we get Kirkcaldy’s Ambitions’ update.”
Councillor Susan Leslie added: “We don’t want to lose this money. We could try to bring in an officer to assist the team and area service manager to really get this moving and stop any more time wasting.”
Mr Cepok said that the posts had been advertised to help with progressing the work, particularly in the anti-poverty area.
Councillor George Kay said: “We need to have projects ready so we don’t run out of time. I would like to see us working backwards to ensure that we have all the projects ready to go.”
Mr Cepok said the meeting on May 1 would look in more detail at the themes of culture and heritage, the waterfront and Merchant’s Quarter.
“We need to articulate what we mean by them to give everyone a clearer understanding of the direction we are going in,” he said.