Councillors approve key projects to improve Kirkcaldy’s appearance

Funding has been granted to re-design the Town Square in Kirkcaldy
Funding has been granted to re-design the Town Square in Kirkcaldy

Funding for key projects to improve the west end of Kirkcaldy High Street, re-design the Town Square and install a winter lighting project at the Memorial Gardens have all been approved.

The proposals, put forward by Kirkcaldy’s Ambitions Group, went before members of the town’s Area Committee, yesterday (Wednesday) morning.

The members agreed a funding package to improve the town centre’s west end following the completion of the first two phases.

Phase three will run from Charlotte Street to Nicol Street, and will include installing high quality granite surfacing the length of the street and improving footpaths.

Councillors were told the current Charlotte Street/High Street junction will be left as it is with the current traffic management system in place. The total cost of the work is estimated at £750,000 with £350,000 sought from the Kirkcaldy Town Centre Development Fund and a request to the Executive Committee for £400,000 from the Roads Maintenance Fund.

If successful, work will start next May.

Councillor Judy Hamilton welcomed the report and said the improvements were ‘a long time coming.”

Councillor Susan Leslie added: “The west end has always felt as if it was the poor relation of the High Street - and that feeling goes back 40 years. It doesn’t have big chain stores or outlets here - there are a lot of family and privately owned businesses so this is important to them. This is crucial to regenerating that end of the High Street.”

Plans to fund a redesign of the north end of the Town Square were also given the green light.

Members approved £50,000 from the Kirkcaldy Town Centre Development Fund to carry out the work will see trees removed from nearest the main road - opposite Kitty’s nightclub - which obscure views of the Town Square to create an ‘‘attractive gateway’’ to the civic HQ.

Seating will be added and the traditional Provosts’ lamp posts moved from the side of the Town House to form a feature piece with the existing flagpoles.

Councillors also backed a plan to light up the War Memorial Gardens for the winter months.

A dozen trees will be illuminated to improve the entrance to the town from the railway station.

Danny Cepok, Kirkcaldy area services manager, said: ‘‘This will make a very attractive feature. There is a bit of work to be done on infrastructure but it is hoped the work will be done in time for the town’s Christmas events.’’

Total costs for installing the lights will be around £25,000 and they will be used over the next few years.

He also revealed there has also been discussions about uplighting the War Memorial’s name plates as well as replacing lighting columns and lanterns in the Gardens.