Join online debate on how to bring Kirkcaldy out of lockdown
What should Kirkcaldy look like after lockdown?
And how can you help to shape its future?
Those are the questions at the heart of a new debate launching this week - and it is open to everyone to get involved.
Greener Kirkcaldy is hosting an online event on Tuesday, July 7, which will look at what the “new normal” will be in the Lang Toun, and how the community can take the lead going forward.
The town has been in lockdown for over three months, forcing huge changes to our daily lives and routines.
With shops, schools, offices and buildings closed, it has also given many people the opportunity to rediscover their home town - and perhaps see it through fresh eyes.
The challenges which the town faced before lockdown are still there, but has the time spent confined changed our thinking on the road ahead?
Greener Kirkcaldy is holding Kirkcaldy After Lockdown, in partnership with the new Kirkcaldy group, Love Oor Lang Toun.
The online event takes place on Tuesday July 7, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm and is free to attend.
It brings together a range of local speakers, including Christine May, who chairs Greener Kirkcaldy’s board; Cara Forrester, from Love Oor Lang Toun, and Allan Crow, editor of the Fife Free Press and creator of the new ‘Civic Conversation’ series, to talk about what they think Kirkcaldy’s ‘next normal’ should be.
They’ll also be joined by guest speaker, Matt Baker from Midsteeple Quarter, a Community Benefit Society in Dumfries.
Its experiences could be a blueprint for Kirkcaldy to study, and even adopt, as it begins to transform its town centre which has suffered horrendous losses in recent years as major chains have closed and people have shifted to online shopping.
Midsteeple Quarter was set up in response to a community-led consultation which uncovered a consensus amongst local people that a priority for the Dumfries of the future was a more diverse town centre with people living there alongside a mix of new businesses and retailers as well as culture, leisure and services.
The project will see the local community take back control of a group of underused and neglected High Street buildings and refurbish these as a contemporary living, working, socialising, learning and enterprising quarter.
Those ambitions chime with the drive to create a new, vibrant town centre in Kirkcaldy which is built around residential, retail and recreation … and it too has plenty of empty and abandoned buildings which could be given a new lease of life.
Love Oor Lang Toun is part of that journey.
It was set up by local people who came together to form a Community Interest Company (CIC).
It has already brought ShopAppy – an online platform for retailers – to town, making Kirkcaldy the first in Scotland to sign up.
After the speakers there will be a chance to share your thoughts and ideas in small online discussion groups.
Suzy Goodsir, chief executive of Greener Kirkcaldy, said: “We want to know what you love about Kirkcaldy, what you’d like to see here in the future, and how we should get involved. Let’s act as if we own the place!
“Your ideas will play a key role in informing Greener Kirkcaldy’s future planning, and will also feed into the new Love Oor Lang Toun group’s plans and the Fife Free Press’ Civic Conversation series.”
Christine May welcomed the online event which opens the door to key discussions on the road ahead for the Lang Toun.
She said: “As lockdown eases, and there are more opportunities to live life as a Kirkcaldy community again, this event gives us a chance to consider what good has come out of such a long period of inactivity.
“Our local environment has blossomed in many ways, with increased use of local enterprise, produce and open spaces, and we are keen to hear as many ideas as we can on ways we can preserve and build upon this.”
HOW TO BOOK
The online event is free to attend, but places are limited so booking is required. It will include an opportunity to have your say on Kirkcaldy after lockdown, and hear four speakers on the road ahead. www.greenerkirkcaldy.org.uk,
email [email protected] or call 01592 858458.
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