Levelling up: £19.4m funding for key Fife projects
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The money for mid-Fife and Glenrothes will go the River Leven Regeneration project to make it an exemplar for a green economic recovery to meet climate and nature targets, and a just transition to net zero.
It will also go to regeneration plans for Glenrothes and Leven town centres.
The Government funding, which hopes that greater investment in local areas will grow the economy, create good jobs and spread opportunity everywhere, was welcomed by the Kingdom’s political leaders, although there was dismay that other projects and areas missed out.
Councillor David Ross, leader of the local authority, said: “These funds take the first steps towards a vision of connecting Loch Leven to the Firth of Forth through an active travel route along the river.
“The schemes will have a key role in rejuvenating Glenrothes and Leven town centres, enhancing the attractiveness of Mid Fife as a place to live, work, learn, visit and invest.”
The projects will enable delivery of key elements of the Mid Fife Action Plan - adopted by the Council in 2021 - and will complement the Levenmouth Reconnected programme, supporting the return of a railway to Leven currently under construction.
Improvements in Glenrothes Riverside Park include a new transport hub with electric charging, bicycle hire, information hub and enhanced accessible link to the Fife Pilgrim’s Way. Levenmouth Connectivity improvements will see the creation of 5km of paths along the river, and 30km of new accessible pathways between towns.
While the funding was welcomed, there was disappointment as the key projects missed out.
The Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency missed out, while hopes for funding in north-east Fife were also dashed.
Cllr Kathleen Leslie, leader of the Conservative group on Fifer Council, said: “I am of course very disappointed that the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency bid failed which would have provided funding to upgrade the Burntisland Burgh Chambers.
“But it is heartening to see that one of the Fife bids has succeeded. The River Leven Regeneration in the Glenrothes & Central Fife constituency will receive over £19million direct from the UK Government.”
“The great thing about Levelling Up funds is that the money is direct and bypasses the SNP administration at Holyrood. Given the millions still being poured into ferries that go nowhere and draconian cuts to local authorities, it is fantastic to see transformative projects such as this go ahead and bring benefits in enhancing economic growth to our local areas.”
Wendy Chamberlain, MP for North-East Fife, added: “I know that those involved in projects in North East Fife which have not been successful will be disappointed by the announcement today.
“A lot of work goes into every bid and I hope that other routes can be found to take these schemes forward. I will do what I can to make that happen. At the same time the funding for the active travel network in Leven is welcome. I am sure this will be a great benefit to the wider Levenmouth and North East Fife areas.”