Name agreed for new Kirkcaldy cultural facility

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kirkcaldy Galleries will be the name of the renovated building which will house the town’s museum, art gallery and library along with a visitor information centre, cafe and educational facilities.

But it will also have an additional strapline underneath letting locals and visitors know exactly what it houses, which will read “library, museum, art gallery and visitor centre.”

The name of the new facility, which is due to open to the public on June 6, was only reached after a lengthy and at times heated debate at the Kirkcaldy area committee yesterday (Wednesday), then only after the casting vote by the chairman, Councillor Neil Crooks on a “compromise” solution.

An amendment to the motion by Councillor Susan Leslie and seconded by Councillor Crooks, to the Kirkcaldy Galleries name was put forward by Councillor David Ross and seconded by Councillor Lawrence Brown, who proposed it be named Kirkcaldy Library, Museum and Art Gallery.

Linda Temple, the Council’s manager for cultural partnerships and events, told the committee the main reason for the name change was for marketing purposes to create a “suitable identity for this new landmark building” and to help attract more visitors from outside the town.

Integrated

She explained that as well as the improved library, museum and art gallery facilities which had formerly occupied two separate parts of the building, the new fully integrated facility would have one entrance and reception and would also accommodate a Visit Scotland visitor information centre, local history and heritage services, educational facilities and a cafe, shop and relaxation area.

She said the current name did not encompass everything the new building would offer to a national and international audience which had been built up significantly in recent years following events such as the McTaggart and Jack Vettriano exhibition which had broken all previous visitor records.

Web presence

She stressed digital and social media were vital in today’s society, and to maximise the web presence a short and memorable name was essential.

A public consultation exercise to suggest proposals for the new name was carried out in November last year and brought 186 responses from primary schools, community councils, Kirkcaldy Civic Society, Friends of Kirkcaldy Museums and Art Gallery and other community groups.

Council officers had suggested some names as guidelines while respondents were invited to come up with ideas of their own, with 81 different names suggested.

The top three were: Kirkcaldy Galleries, John Nairn Centre or John Nairn Galleries, but the Friends group had cautioned against using Nairn in the title as it could cause confusion with the Moray town of Nairn.

Cllr Ross said between 40-50 per cent of the comments put forward by the public wanted to keep the current name, Kirkcaldy Museum and Art Gallery, which he said “does what it says on the tin,” and Councillor Lawrence Brown added: “I can’t understand why we want to change it. It is known everywhere as the museum and art gallery because that’s what it is!”

Councillor Kenny Selbie said: “If there are any benefits to business from changing the name to market it outwith the town then I would be supportive of the suggestion put forward. Locally I don’t think it will make one bit of difference what we call it.”

Compromise

Cllr Susan Leslie voiced concern about the consultation process which committee members had not been asked to participate in, but suggested the compromise of having the main name for marketing with the description underneath.

Heather Stuart, chief executive of Fife Cultural Trust, said: “We’re very happy with the chosen name. It retains a traditional feel that reflects the history of the building while also signalling a new beginning.”