Cupar charrette plan reaches crucial stage

St Columba's Primary School P5 pupils Erin Lowdon and Zain Verna enjoy the picture framing exercise as part of the Cupar charrette.
St Columba's Primary School P5 pupils Erin Lowdon and Zain Verna enjoy the picture framing exercise as part of the Cupar charrette.

A series of drop-in workshops is to be held next weekend at which Cuparians are invited to have their say on the town’s future.

The workshops are all part of the ‘Cupar Could’ charrette launched in January by Cupar Development Trust.

The aim is to draw up a checklist of changes people would like to see in the town centre and to create an action plan.

Charrettes have been held in other areas of Fife and have had positive results.

The Trust, formed last year, has funding from the charity PAS, Fife Council, the Scottish Government and the Big Lottery’s Awards for All fund.

The project is being led by Julia Frost, operations manager of PAS, previously more widely known as Planning Aid Scotland.

Workshops have already been held in Cupar’s two primary schools, Castlehill and St Columba’s, as well as Bell Baxter High School and a number of community groups. They culminate in an intensive series of events in the town’s Corn Exchange beginning this Thursday, March 17, and running through to Sunday, March 20.

The first event, to be held from 6.30pm to 8.30pm on Thursday, provides the opportunity to find out what people have been saying so far about the improvements they’d like to see.

The following day, the Corn Exchange opens at 8.30am ready for a busy day of workshops, and the public are welcome to drop in at any time until 7pm.

The first workshop of the day will focus on supporting and improving enterprise in the town centre, while the second will explore how best to conserve Cupar’s heritage, buildings and spaces as well as look at ways of improving community facilities.

The afternoon workshop takes a creative approach and should appeal to anyone with ideas about how to give the twn centre a ‘buzz’.

On Saturday there’ll be a further two workshops - the first looking for ideas about how to make the town centre more accessible and the second to discuss how best to pull together all the ideas from the events so far.

On Sunday, the public are invited to drop in any time between 2pm and 5pm to see and comment on all the ideas and designs developed during the previous three days, and the final stage in the charrette process will be a ‘feedback summit’ on April 21 to decide how all the ideas can be put into action.

“We want to hear what people want to see happen in the town centre that would make it better for them,” said David Kirk of Cupar Development Trust.

“The aim is to put together an action plan that will bring economic, social and cultural benefits to the town centre and promote a sense of pride in Cupar.”