A new market is set to launch in Kirkcaldy High Street.
Artisan Friday’s is being launched by businesswoman Louise Canny in a bid to breathe new life into a High Street which has been badly hit by a raft of closures and a major drop in footfall.
Louise has run her own jewellery businesses in the town centre since 1985 – the latest of which is “Eloise Jewellery”. She moved into the middle of the High Street three years ago.
With very little fresh food available on the street, Artisan Friday’s is a chance to bring back fishmongers, greengrocers and a range of high-quality food and drink businesses.
Louise said: “I have been saying for years that our High Street should have a street market.”
“A food market should bring people into town and once they are here, my hope is they spend time to browse the stalls and visit the shops.”
She says the market will be “vibrant and colourful” and hopes other traders to get involved by putting stalls in front of their own premises.
“After seeing a charity shop setting up a stall with second-hand books, it inspired the idea to set up an attractive stall full of bath bombs outside my shop front and it was a massive success!”
“There was clearly something in this.”
“It’s all about bringing the inside outdoors and giving people a reason to stop and browse.”
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With the support of BID company, Kirkcaldy4All, Louise has won the backing of Fife Council and aims to change the landscape of the pedestrianised precinct.
Placing the brightly coloured gazebos in front of the empty M&S and BHS units, as well as other empty shops, it will give the impression of the High Street working at full capacity.
If it goes well, there are plans to look at expanding onto the other side of the street and possibly down Tolbooth Street.
Louise added: “I asked Kirkcaldy4All why there isn’t a High Street market.
“They simply said it hadn’t been done yet – so I decided to take a chance.”
“Kirkcaldy4all gave me a lot of guidance to prepare presentations to all the different council departments. Everyone is thrilled to support it.”
There will be weekly competitions with every stall having a hidden golden ticket.
This gives anyone who makes a purchase from them the opportunity to win something from their stall.
In addition, there will also be a platinum ticket worth £50 for a lucky customer to spend within the market.
Added Louise: “Think of it like Kirkcaldy’s version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!”
And the door is open to other town centre businesses to get involved.
“I’m hoping that other stores will offer their own golden tickets for the market.
“I think this idea alone will bring a whole range of shoppers and a buzz back to our High Street.
“There are also talks of some taxi firms starting “£5 Fridays” schemes which will be a great help for encouraging shoppers to the market.”
Bill Harvey, manager of Kirkcaldy4All welcomed the launch of the market.
“It is a fantastic idea and we were only too happy to offer our help.
“It is a very positive move, and one led by a business in the High Street.
“It utilises the empty spaces we have and will bring good footfall into the town, and enhance what we are trying to do in Kirkcaldy.”
The market will run from 9am until 5pm every Friday from November 22, except for January 3.