Adam Smith inspired Enlightenments hub set to celebrate its first anniversary

Staff and volunteers at Enlightenments in Kirkcaldy High Street are set to toast the social enterprise hub’s first birthday this Saturday.

Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 2:46 pm

The enterprise arm of the Adam Smith Global Foundation will be hosting a small celebration to mark its first 12 months of trading with a balloon display, birthday cake to share with customers and a free prize draw.

Two years in the making, the hub inspired by Kirkcaldy’s most famous son, opened last September in the old Made In Naples restaurant in the east end of the High Street.

The original vision for Enlightenments was to act as a social enterprise hub that would help support small, local, independent businesses by providing them space to showcase their work in a fully supportive environment with access to training and advice from Fife College, Fife Council and Business Gateway, offering flexible commission and rental options to suit everyone’s needs and budget.

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The Enlightenments hub in Kirkcaldy's Merchants' Quarter. From left: Vicky Hutchison, retail manager, Iain Macdonald, trustee, Mike Lowe and Jade Paterson from 3Beans cafe. Pic: George McLuskie Photography.

Another goal was to help with the regeneration of Kirkcaldy High Street in particular, the Merchants Quarter.

Since then, it has gone from strength to strength despite a difficult year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Vicki Hutchison, retail manager, explained: “Enlightenments opened on September 26, 2020 but then had to close due to Covid from December until April.

"We will have a small balloon display to mark our first year of trading, some cake for our customers and as a thank you for their continued support throughout this difficult time, we are giving away a free raffle ticket with every purchase from Enlightenments where they will have the chance to win prizes donated by our own makers.

How the inside of Enlightenments looked when it opened last September. Pic: George McLuskie Photography.

"Since we opened we have more than doubled the number of artists and makers who are displaying their work with us.

"Currently, we have around 53 makers showcasing work within Enlightenments.

"We have also held a few successful pop up craft fairs and we are looking to do these regularly.

"Enlightenments was also recently used as a venue for the Central Fife Open Studios event and this was also successful, so we would be happy to act as a venue again in the future.

"Previously I was the only member of staff running the hub. Now, we have recently been able to take on another staff member to cover Saturdays and we have two volunteers who come in during the week to help out now.”

Vicki said there have been a number of highlights over the past year including the hub’s Christmas trading and pop up craft fairs, particularly working with Raith Rovers by allocating space for the football club representatives to hold their festive pop up shop.

She also has a number of ideas to continue the hub’s growth: “We are hoping to run regular craft fairs, demonstrations, workshops and discussions from other crafters, possibly run some classes too.

"We are always looking for new makers and crafters to join us so we will continue to add more new stock when we can.

"We are still looking into the idea of a deli and another possibility would be to hold events in the evenings for example gin tasting, or wine/ craft beer tasting and other themed events.”

She added: “We are excited about what the future holds for Enlightenments.”

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