Could a new project help regenerate Leven’s ailing High Street?
Dozens of representatives from local organisations and businesses packed into Brag Enterprises’ Thomson House base last week, to hear about the Levenmouth Together project and its ambitions for the area.
One element of the Fife Council-funded project is to set up new events. While plans are still being finalised and dates are yet to be set, Levenmouth will host a 10k run, a silent movie event, and a food and drinks festival this year.
The other element of the project is working with the community to help the High Street.
Brag hopes to secure a town centre premises which can then be used to support other local businesses, hosting pop-up shops and social enterprises and giving them space to promote themselves.
Local businessman Lee Murray is one of three staff working on the project – his role being to speak to business and landlords about how they can work together to improve the High Street and the area.
While Leven’s High Street has taken a knock in the last few years, with big brands like WHSmith pulling out, and banks closing branches, it has also welcomed some new local independent shops, proving that there is still life in the High Street.
“We want to get back to having a load of small businesses and social enterprises in the area,” Lee added. “If there are people out there who have got a small business in their back room and have always wanted to have a shop on the High Street, I think we could help them do that.
“We’re here to support the local area and help it grow. That’s what this is all about.”
As well as being given the chance to raise their profile, the owners of small businesses could also be given advice or pointed in the direction of other initiatives or groups which could help them grow.
But it is not just local businesses that can get help through the Levenmouth Together project.
Nicola Philp will be working with the organisers of local events, such as the Buckhaven fireworks and Silverburn Festival, as well as setting up new and exciting events.
Her focus is on plans for the 10k run and a silent movie event at Silverburn Park.
“With the running event, there’s nothing fitness related here at all,” Nicola explained.
“Levenmouth has 29 per cent obesity rate. Also, part of the Levenmouth plan is to bring health, fitness and well being to the area. It’s thinking of the bigger plan.”
Nicola is working with Leven Las Vegas on this project and is in the process of working out the route.
She will be working with various organisations on the film event at Silverburn, which will see visitors putting on headphones and getting to enjoy the film in the stunning surroundings of the park.
“You’ll be watching the film but it’ll be a proper immersed experience and you don’t have the problem of sound emitting.”
Nicola is also looking at running a Hallowe’en event or another run later in the year, and confirmed there would be more events in the future.
Levenmouth Together will then run evaluations to judge the success of the event and see what impact it had on the area.
Another scheme, which is still at the ideas stage, could see a community lottery set up, based on a similar scheme ran in Benarty, with the funds raised being kept in Levenmouth.
Councillor Colin Davidson described Levenmouth Together as a “fantastic initiative”. He added: “My only concern is that we don’t have anything next year, because the posts have only been funded for one year. I am going to be seeking three year funding for the posts if it is a success.”
The project is looking for volunteers for the events. If you are interested in helping, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to find out more about Brag or the events, phone 01592 860 296.