New project launched to focus on future of Kirkcaldy town centre

A picture of the potential future of Kirkcaldy’s town centre is starting to emerge - and people are being urged to pitch their ideas to help bring it to life.

Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 8:29 am

The call comes from Love Oor Lang Toun (LOLT) ass it launches a new project called The Future Is Now.

The community interest company, set up after the closure of BID company Kirkcaldy4All to lead the plans for the town centre, has secured new funding from Crown Estates to spearhead the initiative.

Backing from Fife Council has also allowed the group - formed only last year - to take on two staff members to focus on driving it forward.

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Kirkcaldy High Street

Danny Cepok is the new development manager, while Katie Carruthers is communications and engagement officer, and they report to a board which is made up of people from Kirkcaldy and headed by Cara Forrester who first launched LOLT.

The new project looks at some of the High Street’s notable eyesores - large empty units which continue to scar the landscape - and gather ideas on their future use.

Five key “opportunity sites” have already been identified including the former banks run by Clydesdale and RBS, and M&S’ former flagship store in town currently being used as a COVID vaccine centre.

LOLT wants people’s ideas how to bring them back into use as part of a new consultation.

Love Oor Lang Toun branding

It also wants them to submit photos of ideas they have seen elsewhere which could then inspire new thinking here.

Key themes already identified include:

Leisure activities in the town centre with a family-friendly waterfrontSub-dividing the big units into market space with micro-breweries, bars, cafes, restaurants, and street food.

Housing in the town centre

The former Debenhams store is being brought back into use by new owners 15:17

Town Centre HousingDemolition to create more greenspace and children’s’ play areasFestivals - from food to comedy and musicModern parking facilities.

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Cara said: “We’ve already been really impressed with the wealth of support we’ve received from the local community, and are really excited to start this new project to reimagine what we can use some of the High Street’s empty units for.

“We have been led by the aspirations of local people and have listened to what they want, and we feel it’s time to tackle some of the vacant units – the start of that is finding out what’s possible.”

LOLT stresses this isn’t another top-down consultation - it’s very much about gathering views of what people want.

Added Cara; “We’ve already heard ideas from our various events and participation in other events too.

“We want to continue to work together with the people in the town to gather ideas for how we can further improve our town centre.

“We can all play a part in what comes next and write the next chapter for Kirkcaldy.”

Katie Carruthers, added: “We will tell people about our consultation activities through our social media pages and on our website as well as keeping people up to date on all the great things our Lang Toun has to offer.

“If you’ve been somewhere else and seen a great idea that might work within Kirkcaldy Town centre, please get in touch.”

Email your photos to [email protected]

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