Positive response to town centre start up

Danny Cepok and councillor Kay Carrington at the launch of the scheme

Danny Cepok and councillor Kay Carrington at the launch of the scheme

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ORGANISERS behind an innovative scheme to attract budding entrepreneurs to Kirkcaldy town centre have had positive feedback.

Firms are being encouraged to start up in the Lang Toun via the new ‘Ready, Steady, Start Up’ initiative launched in May.

Fife Council is working with BID company Kirkcaldy4All, local property agents, solicitors and Business Gateway - and has put together a generous package of support for new start ups and businesses wishing to make the move from home to the High Street.

Vacant units have been identified at several locations throughout the town via property agents DM Hall, Graham & Sibbald and J & E Shepherd. Ready, Steady, Start-Up offers attractive rental packages along with a business grant, preferential legal fees and start up advice from Business Gateway.

The scheme aims to support specialist retailers that may offer a niche product range that will contribute to Kirkcaldy High Street.

Andrew Walker, Fife Council economic adviser, enterprise, planning and protective services, told The Press: “Since the launch we have had 12 enquires from potential businesses looking to move to Kirkcaldy.

‘‘These include start ups, people looking to expand from home/internet trading into a physical town centre premise or looking to relocate.

‘‘They are from a variety of types of businesses and would all add to the existing offer that Kirkcaldy has.

‘‘All town centres are finding it tough at the moment.

‘‘But what is encouraging is we are still receiving enquiries for vacant town centre units and new businesses want to set up in Kirkcaldy.

‘‘The moving in grant along with initial rental discounts to encourage new business and other initiatives that are happening can start to make a real difference to the town centre.”

Jonathan Reid from J & E Shepherd said: “This is a forward thinking scheme to encourage fledgling and new start businesses.

‘‘We have a number of landlords actively seeking such occupiers. This will hopefully assist with the revitalisation of Kirkcaldy town centre and encourage the re-occupation of vacant retail units.”

Bill Harvey, BID manager, Kirkcaldy4All said: “We are delighted to be part of the initiative which is bringing more small, independent businesses to the town centre.

‘‘To hear there have been 12 notes of interest in the scheme is very positive. People will be making enquiries, but will need to work on their business plans.”