New vision for Kirkcaldy’s industrial heritage

The shared path along Den Road in Kirkcaldy as set out in the new masterplan. Pic: UrbanPioneers.
The shared path along Den Road in Kirkcaldy as set out in the new masterplan. Pic: UrbanPioneers.

Ambitious proposals to regenerate Kirkcaldy’s industrial heritage have been revealed with the unveiling of a new green masterplan to breathe new life into the area.

The document, which covers the Victoria Road corridor, features improved pedestrian and cycle routes, including a cycle path between Denfield Park and Victoria Hospital.

The new connection, between Victoria Hospital and Denfield Park re-opens a previous access route and creates a welcoming key entrance into the park. The new masterplan features an artist's impression of how it will look. Pic: UrbanPioneers.

The new connection, between Victoria Hospital and Denfield Park re-opens a previous access route and creates a welcoming key entrance into the park. The new masterplan features an artist's impression of how it will look. Pic: UrbanPioneers.

The masterplan was commissioned by Fife Council and produced by landscape architecture practice UrbanPioneers following a consultation with the public.

It is a recommendation of a charrette carried out in the area in 2014 and the proposals cover an area between Victoria Road in the south to Hayfield Road in the north. Improvements are already starting to take place with 161 affordable houses completed in Overton Road and residential and commercial plans earmarked for other large sites.

A spokeswoman for UrbanPioneers said improvements to pedestrian and cycle routes and establishing connections from the charrette area to the wider network forms part of the first phase of the masterplan, with opportunities to look at sport and leisure facilities as the scheme develops and funding is secured.

Councillor Neil Crooks, chairman of Kirkcaldy area committee, said it is very timely to highlight the new plan given that the area featured in a television programme on Monday night.

Simple improvements such as a handrail along Broad Wynd and a seating area with tree and low planting in front of Pathhead Halls will not only make the streetscape more accessible but also create an attractive focal point with an opportunity to rest and meet or just enjoy a cup of tea by local employees. The planters along the road will function as a parking restriction at the same time. Pic: UrbanPioneers.

Simple improvements such as a handrail along Broad Wynd and a seating area with tree and low planting in front of Pathhead Halls will not only make the streetscape more accessible but also create an attractive focal point with an opportunity to rest and meet or just enjoy a cup of tea by local employees. The planters along the road will function as a parking restriction at the same time. Pic: UrbanPioneers.

He said: “It is current to have this area covered by media interest given the tv programme the other night on BBC about Kirkcaldy, The Town That Floored The World. To see the masses of industrial buildings across the town related to linoleum production and the thousands of people who were employed in “for lifetime” jobs reminded me of the town I grew up in. There were lots of jobs opportunities and people felt secure. The charette area was subjected to significant consultation and the local schoolchildren in particular wanted some play/leisure on the site. I did make a serious bid for the indoor football facility to be located at Victoria Road, but unfortunately it went to the Michael Woods Centre in Glenrothes.

“The Denfield Park site where the YM juniors play has potential for a sports hub but its isolation makes it vulnerable to vandalism. The charrette area will concentrate on more housing being delivered and when that happens, security increases and opportunities arise.

“There is interest from developers in Victoria Road and Den Road for housing and the council have developed housing bringing the bottom of Overton Road to life including extending across Beatty Crescent towards Denfield. “Making the area available to cyclists and pedestrians is one way of connecting quietly from Hayfield to the harbour and reopening the tunnel under the railway would be needed to make that happen.

“The dereliction at the Dunnikier traffic lights area needs development and we have worked with Penman Homes to demolish and build housing on the former SMT garage site which lay empty for years. This was the industrial heart of Kirkcaldy and became a memorial of dereliction for years.”

With the closure of the Fife College Priory Campus and Nairn development, access from Victoria Street to the Coastal Path has been closed off and reduced pedestrian activity within this area significantly. Not only was the desire raised to re-establish this link during the community consultation, it also forms a key element of the Regeneration Spatial Strategy. New steps and ramps within an existing and currently closed off entrance create an accessible connection point and re-open a significant North - South connection. Perennial planting and a low feature wall highlight the access point and create a welcoming and attractive space. (Pic: UrbanPioneers)

With the closure of the Fife College Priory Campus and Nairn development, access from Victoria Street to the Coastal Path has been closed off and reduced pedestrian activity within this area significantly. Not only was the desire raised to re-establish this link during the community consultation, it also forms a key element of the Regeneration Spatial Strategy. New steps and ramps within an existing and currently closed off entrance create an accessible connection point and re-open a significant North - South connection. Perennial planting and a low feature wall highlight the access point and create a welcoming and attractive space. (Pic: UrbanPioneers)

He added: “Breathing new life into the charrette area has started and there is a long way to go.”