Kirkcaldy’s BID company announces its closure

Kirkcaldy4All
Kirkcaldy4All

Kirkcaldy4All will close its doors on March 5, 2020, bringing to an end a decade of representing our town centre.

It has decided not to go to ballot for a third term, and, instead, has tabled a proposal for a new digital organisation which would cover the whole of Kirkcaldy.

The BID wants to create Scotland’s first Digital Innovation District (DID) to carry on its work.

Kirkcaldy4All is one of the key players in the town centre.

Launched in 2009, it has been heavily involved in a raft of initiatives and events.

It has worked with a number of businesses to bring their rates bills down, and brought back free wi-fi to the town centre.

it has supported events such as Kirkcaldy Carnival, Kirkcaldy Comedy Festival, the town’s revived half marathon, is a partner with Fife College in a highly successful food and drink fair, and is a major supporter of Fife Pride.

It has also led the debate over town centre parking and been part of initiatives such as free parking after 3:00pm.

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Kirkcaldy4All is the second BID to end in Fife in recent months.

Dunfermline Delivers suffered an unexpected rejection in its renewal ballot.

The local authority has now injected £100,000 to keep it going for six months with a view to finding an alternative model to run the town centre.

Kirkcaldy4All is looking to the council for similar financial support – but not to prop up the BID.

Instead it wants to become a body that works for the whole of the Lang Toun on an entirely digital platform.

Bill Harvey, manager of Kirkcaldy4All, admitted the decision to call time was not taken lightly.

“We have been considering many options for some months,” he said.

“We have had many successes over the last decade, but today’s landscape is very different from when we campaigned for our first term in 2009, or even when we won with increased support in 2015.”

That year also saw the closure of Tesco – one of the key moments in the sharp decline in footfall to the town centre.

M&S followed last year with Debenhams set to close no later than January.

Many other long-standing retailers have closed, and while there has been a rise in the number of independent traders moving in, changing perceptions of the High Street has been a huge challenge.

Added Bill: “We have been able to attract and support an increasing number of dynamic independent businesses who choose to invest in Kirkcaldy.

“But, in the last 12 months more and more businesses from outwith the BID boundary have also approached us for help.

“We have been focused on delivering for our levy payers within a relatively small area of the town. That scope has meant we have not been able to look beyond our current boundary.”