This sort of initiative shows the future is bright for the High St

Catherine Baxter, Cllr Neil Crooks and Karen Forret
Catherine Baxter, Cllr Neil Crooks and Karen Forret

The first step in restoring a fully-fledged department store to Kirkcaldy High Street took place on Friday.

Customers were waiting to get in as Wilkie’s opened its new menswear department and revealed the improvements made to the shop front.

The investment is the first stage in a development plan for the shop that includes a gift department and tea room.

Councillor Neil Crooks, chairman of the Kirkcaldy Ambitions Group, performed the ribbon cutting to open the menswear department and praised those behind the renaissance of Wilkie’s.

He said: “I was delighted to accept the invitation to officially re-open the new Wilkie’s menswear department.

“The Ambitions group has created a town centre plan which has considerable support but its successful delivery is reliant upon positive action by a variety of those involved.

“I was highly impressed by the drive and enthusiasm of Karen Forret, Wilkie’s managing director, and really hope the public will respond by visiting the shop and talking to the staff who are primed and ready to offer their services.

“This very dynamic young lady is breathing new life into the east end of the street which chimes exactly with our town centre ‘Time for Action’ plan.

“The town centre will not prosper solely on retail, but retail plus iconic tourism development around Adam Smith, a social hub around the café culture, encouraging independent specialist retailers, making the waterfront a destination and providing events like the recent street carnival will make a difference.

“Family friendly early evening destinations like the new leisure centre and a cinema, the new hotel and increasing residential opportunities and improved parking are all deliverable.

“Karen has shown us she sees a positive future in Kirkcaldy and there are many others who share that view.”