Banners have been unfurled along the east end of Kirkcaldy High Street to signify the launch of the town’s Adam Smith Merchants’ Quarter.
The rebranding of the area ties in with the opening of the Adam Smith Close and Visitor Centre in September.
Bill Harvey of Kirkcaldy 4 All said the move had been brought forward due to recent events elsewhere in the town centre.
“We’re trying to develop the area as part of the regeneration of the town centre,” he said.
“With the demise of Tesco we thought we would be a bit pro-active and try to do something a bit positive so it’s come about slightly ahead of schedule.
“The whole idea is us working in conjunction with Kirkcaldy’s Ambitions and the Adam Smith Global Foundation and the Merchants’ Quarter will be part of the Adam Smith Trail which will start at the Old Kirk in Kirk Wynd.
There are probably plenty of other Merchants’ Quarters elsewhere - but there’s only one Adam SmithCllr Neil Crooks
‘‘There’s a slight problem there in that we can put any wires across Kirk Wynd but it’s an issue we can look at.
Councillor Neil Crooks, chairman of Kirkcaldy’s Ambitions, said that the idea of east end becoming its own community in the town centre had been welcomed by traders.
“They’ve bought into this and that’s been so important,” he said.
“Calling it the Adam Smith Merchants’ Quarter gives it a sell-able title.
“There are probably plenty of other Merchants’ Quarters elsewhere - but there’s only one Adam Smith.
“It’s about trying to establish a unique feel for that area.
‘‘I think it’s the part of the High Street that suffers the most, primarily as it’s a night time area in the main.
“But it’s beginning to change with businesses such as the Painted Teapot opening up. That’s a great wee business and it’s given the area a real boost.”
Mr Crooks said he would now like to see traders take business into their own hands.
He said: “In my role as chairman of Kirkcaldy’s Ambitions I’m a facilitator.
“I want to encourage the traders in the east end to take a role in promoting themselves, rather than just relying on the Council.
“I want to see them encourage and empower each other and take the initiative.
“It’s really important, it has happened and I’m absolutely delighted.”
Traders have their own brand
Adam Smith Merchant’s Quarter business owners agreed on the branding which will help them stand out from the rest of the High Street.
“They’ve got together and now have a brand which they will display in their windows.
“We want to see the daytime businesses develop. It would be great to attract some more niche businesses along there,” said Cllr Crooks.