Adam Smith centre secures Council aid

If all goes to plan, the visitor centre will open in September
If all goes to plan, the visitor centre will open in September

Councillors have agreed to underwrite £55,000 to guarantee delivery of Kirkcaldy’s newest tourist attraction - the Adam Smith visitor centre.

The project, which is the cornerstone of the town’s new Merchants’ Quarter, ran into difficulties when 15th century windows were found in the foundations.

Councillors heard there was a significant risk that if phase two were delayed and the works not completed on schedule, the project could lose a £292,000 award from the Coastal Communities Fund.

However Fife Historic Buildings Trust would not commence on phase two until a funding package was in place to satisfy newly identified project costs of £55,000.

Phase two, which will finish the building’s interior ready for kitting out, was due to be completed next month.

It is now hoped the building will be open in September, if work recommences soon.

Councillors agreed at last week’s Kirkcaldy Area Committee to commit £30,000 from Kirkcaldy Town centre Regeneration Fund, in addition to £25,000 pledged by Fife Council.

Izzy Whyte, development officer, stressed there was every indication The Adam Smith Global Foundation would secure funds from another source in due course.

Cllr David Ross said: “Just to be absolutely clear, if we agree to this there’s no chance that it will compromise bids that are going on?”

Ms Whyte assured members the £55k was “absolutely a fund of last resort”.

Cllr Kay Carrington added: “What worries me is that this project would not be finished and that would be terrible for Kirkcaldy.

“Adam Smith is a giant and we have very little in Kirkcaldy to draw people in to find him...we need to compete against Edinburgh and Glasgow and drag back our son.”