Kirkcaldy West End revamp pledge as work falls behind

Fife Council say the work will be completed on time.
Fife Council say the work will be completed on time.

Contractors working on the revamp of the west end have promised it WILL be finished on time.

The pledge came after it emerged that the vital town centre project had fallen several weeks behind schedule.

The work started in January-  and is expected to finish this summer

The work started in January- and is expected to finish this summer

The blame was put on problems getting materials, and staff turnover.

The west end revamp is the third and final final phase of the town centre improvement project.

There have been regular discussions between officers, businesses and the contractors, Land Engineering – a company with a proven track record in such developments, including work on Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile.

But the lack of progress in recent weeks has become apparent, leading to confirmation the project was now three weeks behind schedule.

Cllr Neil Crooks has called for an immediate response to ensure it finishes by the July deadline.

He said: “I am very disappointed that it has fallen behind schedule.

“It looks as though it has been a staffing issue as there has been an absence of workers on the job at various times. I have made it clear, as chairman of the area committee, that there needs to be visible acceleration on site.

“The project is high profile, has significant effects on west end trading and the last thing we need is to prolong the end date for normality to be restored.”

Confirmation of the slip came from Fife Council this week – but it stressed the project would be finished on time.

Mark Dewar, service manager, said: “We’ve been given a reassurance from the contractors that all work will be completed on time. Any project of this size and scale can be subject to unforeseen delays.”

The contractor also said the job would be done on time.

David Girdler, contracts manager, said, “It’s important to stress our confidence that this important public realm contract will be completed and handed over in July, in line with the original project timelines.

“We are currently at the mid-point of this six month project and acknowledge fully that the work is currently around three weeks behind the original schedule.

“This is due to a number of factors, including difficulties in sourcing some of the high grade materials required to provide the high quality finish specified for this job and unanticipated staff turnover.

“We are determined to bring the job in on time and have deployed additional skilled labour to get the work back on schedule.

“We appreciate fully any concerns raised by local traders and want to reassure them of both our actions and our commitment to deliver the finished job on time.

“Our project management team will be visiting all traders along the High Street over the next week to inform them of the current position, to answer any questions they may have, and to reassure them of our commitment to meet the original timetable.”