It may look derelict and unwanted, but 1 Adam Smith Close is set to stand at the heart of the town centre’s regeneration.
The building, currently covered in scaffolding, is to become a visitor and exhibition centre which will reclaim the world famous economist as our most famous son.
The ambitious plans, led by Adam Smith Global Foundation, received a huge boost this week with confirmation that it had scooped funding of £292,000.
The money from the Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) was announced by Eric Pickles MP, UK Communities Secretary, who visited Kirkcaldy on Monday.
There will also be a Smith time line through the close which leads to the High Street, emerging next to house where he lived with his mother.
The Secretary of State was shown round the site and also visited the Old Kirk, where Smith was baptised, as well as the offices of Kirkcaldy4All where he met councillors, as well as representatives from Kirkcaldy’s Ambitions and the foundation.
He said: “The trail and the centre’s prospects are really exciting - and, as a social enterprise, they are working very hard to make these improvements.
“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 the town and local economy.
The Minister’s visit marked the next step of the work to bring the £700,00 project to fruition.
Marilyn Livingstone, chief executive of the foundation said: “The funding will allow completion of this amazing project which will support the legacy of Adam Smith in his birthplace of Kirkcaldy.
“This all came together under the umbrella of Kirkcaldy’s Ambitions -it’s very important that people realise that.
“It has come about from different groups working with each other for the good of the town.’’
The Foundation has plans to create a visitors centre, a close which will include a historic time line of Smith’s life and a regeneration of a ‘Merchant’s Quarter’ in the east end.
She added: ‘‘The time for talking is gone, it’s a time for action.’’
Councillor Neil Crooks, chairman of the area committee, paid tribute to the role of the new ambitions group.
He said: “It is committed to delivering action for the town centre area.
“Submitting funding requests is part of that plan and when successful we all feel a collective sense of achievement.
“As well as bringing a listed building back to life, this project will help capitalise on Kirkcaldy’s link and connection to Adam Smith too.”
The foundation is opening the time line up for sponsorship to help cover costs of the project.
Added Mrs Livingstone: ‘‘We already have our first sponsor in Rejects which is great.
“We hope to have an app which will give a visitor on the time line a bit more information about each step, helping to make the whole experience interactive.
“That will cost about £5000, so sponsorship will be a big help.
“This is all part of a ten year aspiration, and the CCF award has given us heart and the spirit to prepare future funding bids,” she said.
“It was a year long process, but to be this successful with our first bid of this sort is amazing.’’
The new visitor centre will also accommodate the foundation’s offices.