Plans for Cupar Heritage Trail on track

David Kirk at the Cupar Could summit.
David Kirk at the Cupar Could summit.

Cupar groups supporting a new heritage initiative took a step in the right direction last Wednesday.

They met to swap ideas on the creation of a trail through Cupar town centre which would celebrate the distinctive history of the area and bolster tourism.

The first step in the three-year plan would be to produce a plan that would underpin the creation of an ‘interpretation trail’ – a self-guided trail through the town.

Heritage sites, closes and key buildings from the town would feature on the trail with supporting explanatory information alongside.

Aimed at raising the town’s profile on the tourist map, David Kirk, chairman of Cupar Devemopment Trust (CDT) stated the importance of accessing government and lottery funding as well as appointing an experienced consultant to assess the heritage assets of the town and help propose the themes and places that would form the basis of the trail.

He said: “The professional consultant would be asked to propose designs and signage and provide outline costings.

“We have also sent in an application to the Scottish Government’s Activating Ideas Fund and are hoping to receive a positive decision on this in October.”

The fund could release up to £15,000 of grant money and was created by the Scottish Government to help local projects aimed at community participation and innovation, progress.

The idea was borne from the Cupar Could charette held earlier this year and it’s hoped it will be the first of several initiatives to improve the town.

“The aim would be to present Cupar in an interesting way that would attract locals and visitors to the town centre,” explained Mr Kirk.

“The trail will be professionally designed.

“But we would have extensive consultation with the community.”

A short-list of consultant’s will be completed at the next working group meeting with the position hopefully filled by December.

Encouraging access from all sectors of society, Ian Copland, chairman of Cupar Heritage has also approached academics at the University of St Andrews who have developed a ‘Smart History’ application.

The mobile phone app acts as a guide allowing people to physically explore an area while accessing a narrative that links together specific locations on the physical trail.

The trail is unlikely to be completed before 2020.