Could recession kill Kirkcaldy?

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kirkcaldy is at high risk of being destroyed by the recession.

The Lang Toun has been placed 19th in an analysis of 90 places across the country which could be further hit by economic downturn in a hard-hitting report published recently.

It came second only to East Wemyss, the highest placed Fife village, at number 11 in the analysis by the Scottish Agricultural College’s Rural Policy Centre.

The 104-page report into the state of rural Scotland suggests that some communities in the country could be so badly hit that they will effectively die off.


It ranks 90 towns and villages across the country using four main criteria - the number of people of working age; the number claiming Jobseekers Allowance; the number working in the public sector and income levels.

Dr Jane Atterton who published the report, said: “The Vulnerability Index provides a means of analysing how current economic and social changes, particularly public sector cuts, unemployment rates and population ageing, are affecting the vulnerability of places in different locations and of different sizes.

“Ongoing vulnerability in some settlements may lead to increasing unemployment, population out-migration and a decline in local service provision, and may place the long-term sustainability of these settlements at risk.”

She said the Index provided a starting point for targeted funding and policy measures to help them thrive.

“Towns play a vital role in Scotland’s rural and regional development, but they have not received substantial policy recognition, leaving them at risk of falling into a gap between urban and rural policies.

Useful picture

”While the Vulnerability Index offers a useful picture of which towns are vulnerable and which are vibrant, more in-depth work must now be done to understand the socio-economic functions of different places and the characteristics of the wider region in which they are located.

‘‘This will help to explain each settlement’s vulnerability in more detail, so that appropriate funding and policy measures can be targeted to groups of places with particular characteristics.”

David Torrance, Kirkcaldy MSP, said: “The report hasn’t taken into account the massive amount of investment that has come or is coming into the area.

“We have Bifab winning major contracts; RGR planning a £50 million foundry at Methil creating 250 jobs; and Dutch energy firm 2B moving in to the Fife Energy Park along with Samsung.

‘‘Amazon are creating jobs and Diageo is undergoing a £150 million expansion. We also have a newly expanded hospital.

“There have been a lot more positives in the last two years than the past 20 which will create employment and lead to more spending, boosting the local economy,

“I would say Kirkcaldy is a lot less vulnerable than it has been in a long time.”