Civic Conversation: Why Fife town needs to target the 'staycationers' after lockdown

George Proudfoot and Rosemary Potter at the Old KirkGeorge Proudfoot and Rosemary Potter at the Old Kirk
George Proudfoot and Rosemary Potter at the Old Kirk
The drive to bring people back to local facilities and businesses

The Fife Free Press has launched a Civic Conversation to get a wide range of views on how Kirkcaldy will endure after lockdown. This week, George Proudfoot assessed the road ahead for the Old Kirk and Adam Smith Global Foundation’s plans

If six months ago we thought we would be discussing anything about lockdowns and social distancing, shielding and Zooming, we would be accused of having been reading too many outlandish science fiction novels.

But this is exactly where we are.

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More pertinently, where are we to be six months hence? Or a year from now, three years and even a decade

Adam Smith 2023 Festival Year – some of the initial ground work is already done but there is much more to do.

Adam Smith Global Foundation’s Enlightenments project was approximately 10 working days away from being opened, albeit modestly, when the battening-down-of-the-hatches came into being.

A tough one to take, but work has been happening quietly behind the scenes, and the doors will open in some form when it is safe to do so.It will come as no surprise that some of the planning and revenue analysis has had to be refashioned.

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Cognisance of course has also been taken of the fact that cafés will be well down the list of places allowed to fully open anytime soon, but the retail section can be quite quickly ramped up with social distancing included in the equation.

Also, it is intended to have the Adam Smith Heritage Centre open modestly towards the mid part of the summer season onwards, and Doors Open Day 2020 across Fife is still being tentatively considered.

To some extent that will tie in with the libraries, art galleries, museum, and local and family history facilities.

Kirkcaldy Old Kirk still intends to be open for visitors at its annual Open Church event, mainly for outside graveyard tours, during July/August with appropriate precautions.

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Kirkcaldy Civic Society has moved online and has produced its first two virtual heritage walkabouts with more in the pipeline.

We are also exploring the excellent ViewRanger website facility allowing people to do self-guided heritage walks themselves. But, ultimately, human guiding will come back at some point in the future.

On the tourism front there is clearly a lot of rethinking required.

A lot of that will be around re-scheduling and re-engineering, many events having already been postponed and moved.

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With 2020 being a “no international visitor year” with likely only a small improvement in 2021, we need to look primarily at staycationers. Within safety parameters, Kirkcaldy still needs footfall.

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Thank you

Allan Crow, Editor, Fife Free Press