Why there’s a lot to look forward to in Kirkcaldy in 2019

An artist's impression of the Kirkcaldy Waterfront regeneration plan
An artist's impression of the Kirkcaldy Waterfront regeneration plan

It’s fair to say it’s been a year of ups and downs. As we prepare to close the book on 2018, looking back it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster.

In this town things don’t always go our way. We could sit here all day and blame the powers that be, but ultimately we all have a part to play in what happens next.

There have been no shortage of shocks for Kirkcaldy in 2018.

We’ve lost Subway, Toys R Us, the High Street branch of Next, and now we know that Marks and Spencer and Mothercare will soon follow most likely earlier in the new year.

Our rail services have gone from bad to worse, we’ve been almost completely shunned in two separate region Deals that promised the Earth but delivered very little.

We were told the Edinburgh City Region Deal would see investment in Fife, with help towards infrastructure and transport links, but it turns out they’re really just going to build a few houses on the east of Dunfermline – which, let’s face it would happen anyway given the trend of the last 20 years.

Then the Tayside Region Deal landed, and we’ve had council chiefs hail it as progress and that familiar old line of ‘investment in Fife’, but the only part that affected the Kingdom was several million pounds going to a St Andrews University project – a facility generally not shy of a few quid.

As ever, Fife gets left in the middle, seen by the powers that be as simply a giant dormitory suburb of the larger cities with no real identity of its own.

It can be easy to feel disheartened when we look to the future in times like these, but as it turns out there’s plenty to be optimistic about.

After a great deal of campaigning in these very pages, I’m pleased to say there’s been movement on the demolition of the old swimming pool, and dare I say progress in the drive to bring a cinema back to Kirkcaldy after 18 years without.

We’ve even had word that not one but two operators are currently interested in opening a facility in the town.

The waterfront of Kirkcaldy, largely forgotten about in years gone by, will finally begin to transform into something we can all enjoy. We have a gift in that we’re based on the banks of the Forth and can enjoy some great views out over the water.

The upcoming plans are based around making more of the prom, rather than just treating it as a large grey expanse that stops water flooding the dual carriageway.

And it is in the same area that the team behind the King’s Theatre project are almost ready to open Kirkcaldy’s newest entertainment venue.

The former YWCA has been painstakingly repaired and refurbished and now only needs to be signed off by council planners.

Meanwhile, talks continue to bring an airshow to the waterfront later this year.

That fact that the waterfront is drawing so much interest right now just underlines the fact that we’ve taken it for granted for far too long.

So while it may seem that Kirkcaldy has had a few ‘dull yins’ recently, things could well be looking up.