New lease of life for old Kirkcaldy shopping arcade

The Olympia Arcade is currently undergoing a facelift
The Olympia Arcade is currently undergoing a facelift

Work to inject a new lease of life and attract businesses into a historic Kirkcaldy shopping arcade has finally begun.

The “glass-topped” Olympia Arcade at the west end of Kirkcaldy High Street, which has increasingly fallen into disrepair and neglect over the past few decades, is in the process of having its roof replaced with a brand new one, as well as having new guttering installed to cope with rainfall and repair damp problems.

Funding for the improvements has come from the owner, Hillfoot Estates; Kirkcaldy4All through a Business Support Grant and Fife Council.

And, together with rent incentives on the 16 units within the premises, it has led to all bar one shop being let, for the first time in many years.

This week the owner of the arcade, Hillfoot Estates, said that repair work was underway and it hoped the improvements would revitalise the arcade and encourage more shoppers.

“The old roof has been removed and guttering is currently being replaced to cope with the monsoon weather we have been experiencing,” said Ian Watt, property investor with Hillfoot Estates.

“Our main focus at present is on the shops, to ensure they are all in a good condition and , weather permitting this weekend will see the new perspex roof going up.

“We have a good mix of shops in now, some of which are still in the process of opening up, and we will be promoting the arcade and encouraging people to pay a visit when they are down the High Street.

“We want to help the traders in the Olympia Arcade and the west end of the High Street.”

Bill Harvey, manager of Kirkcaldy4All, said: “We are delighted to work with the owner to re-establish the arcade and the businesses within it. It is a well-known Kirkcaldy landmark and we look forward to seeing it become a thriving area for up-and-coming and established businesses alike.”