£160m new action plan to revive Kirkcaldy

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Kirkcaldy could benefit in a new action plan to revive the struggling Mid-Fife area.

Councillors are set to discuss a draft report which includes a number of proposals to bring new investment, and opportunities, to the town.

Recommendations include a major modernisation of Kirkcaldy’s existing industrial estates which are viewed as tired lacking in modern units for businesses in 2020.

It also proposes a new carbon zero business and innovation park next to Mitchelston Industrial Estate.

The plan also wants to develop “more radical proposals” for the town centre with a view to regenerating the struggling night time economy, and re-populating the area with more residential opportunities;

It also wants to maximise the attractiveness of the waterfront and better connect the town to the Esplanade by building on the current developments – and create more tourism accommodation that is attractive to both coastal path visitors and those seeking higher end accommodation.

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The plan – which also covers Cowdenbeath, Glenrothes and Levenmouth,– comes with a £160-£180m delivery price tag, and while it accepts it cannot be delivered within current resources, it notes that “more of the same will not make the required step-change in Mid-Fife.”

It will go before councillors at Kirkcaldy’s area committee at the Town House on Tuesday.

Cllr Neil Crooks, who convenes the committee, said: “There’s understandably much focus and discussion on what we can do immediately to improve the area.

“There are a wide range of projects and investments underway to help deliver on these for Kirkcaldy. However, it’s also very important that we identify, prioritise and resource longer term visions too.

“We need a coordinated, multi-agency approach to address the scale of the challenges that we are presented with in the Kirkcaldy and Mid-Fife area.”
He welcomed the carbon zero business and innovation park in Kirkcaldy adding: “Locally we are significantly under-represented in this field.”
He added: ““House prices and the cost of living in Mid-Fife are relatively low compared to Edinburgh. We can do more to attract people to live in the area which boasts an impressive coast, heritage and rural offering.

“For example, living in Kirkcaldy and commuting to Edinburgh could save someone over £8700 annually – that’s quite an incentive and opportunity.”

The plan, which is made up of 24 actions, was also welcomed by Councillor Altany Craik, convener of the council’s economy, tourism, strategic planning and transportation committee who said: “It sets out our commitment to ensure there is a particular focus on improving economic activity in the Mid-Fife area, where challenges have been more pronounced.“