Shops in Markinch have been given a new look thanks to Fife Council’s shopfront improvement scheme.
Local councillors visited business in Markinch last week to see the transformation for themselves.
Supported by the improvement scheme, the makeovers had £7,000 allocated from the Fife Task Force.
The Markinch community voted for these projects as part of the Participatory Budgeting exercise carried out in Markinch and Leslie and the Fife Task Force fund was set up to assist community regeneration and support environmental improvements to boost the local economy.
Tenant and owner of The Munro gift shop, Lynne Munro, said: “The shop front was refreshed with new paint, new signage and a new bench. It’s really improved the look of the shop which is really important to me as a business.
“The grant came at the right time, helped me to afford the refurbishment that has enhanced the appearance of the whole building. Lots of people have noticed the change and said they like it.”
Owner of the property Mary Baird said: “Lynne applied for a grant for the shop but I was also able to apply to have repairs made to the building.
“I had the sandstone wall repointed using lime mortar in keeping with the style of the building and the fluted wood panels at side of the building repaired and repainted.
“I am grateful to have had this investment. As a small business it can be hard to find money to put into upgrading and maintaining the outside of property.”
Margaret Burnett of Hair Flair, said: “I had a new front door and new illuminated barber pole installed and I’m delighted with it.
“I have never been offered anything like this since I started in business in 1981. I feel privileged and grateful.”
Councillor Fiona Grant, chair of the Glenrothes Area committee, said: “It is great to see the shop fronts looking fresh and smart and to hear the business owners are pleased with the results.
“Participatory budgeting is a great way for local people to have a direct say in how, and where, public funds can be used.
“It is a chance to let local communities identify their own priorities and be creative as well as pragmatic.”
Councillor Jan Wincott added: “It’s great to see local businesses benefiting from Participatory Budgeting. Getting funds back into the community, for what the community decides it needs, is what it’s all about.”