A new plan to boost Kirkcaldy’s local economy has been welcomed by Fife councillors.
The Mid-Fife economic development plan will see around £160m spent on Kirkcaldy, Glenrothes and Levenmouth in an effort to kick start the economy, with several large projects taking place in Kirkcaldy.
Plans such as modernising industrial areas, a new carbon zero business and innovation park near Mitchelston Industrial Estate, improving the night time economy and upgrading the waterfront are expected to take place in Kirkcaldy as part of the 24 point action plan.
There are around 1000 fewer women in work in the Kirkcaldy area with fewer households where there are two income earners, which contributes to lower overall household disposable incomes. The number of businesses in Kirkcaldy have also reduced over the last three years.
However, some councillors questioned if the plan was substantial enough to be taken forward.
Cllr David Ross said: “This is an important document and it will fulfil an important roll in taking forward the economic development in the area.
“However, concerns for me at the moment are that it still seems to have a lack of focus and in one sense it’s neither high level enough to give direction, but also not low level enough that it has a lot of details.
“While I had hoped to get a bit more, I recognise this is early stages and work still needs to be done on it. I don’t think it mentions enough the work that is going on already and things that are already committed. I think a lot more work needs to be done before it can be signed off, but it’s a good start.”
Cllr Lesley Backhouse agreed, adding: “I’m not seeing much on the tourism industry mentioned in here – we have a lot to offer and we need to make sure we’re highlighting these areas.”
However, Peter Corbert, who was speaking to the report, said: “I would never downplay the positivity that is ongoing. But the point of the report is to show that what is going on now will only take us so far. The challenges are so big and entrenched that we need something significantly different, because more of the same will not take us any further than we are at the moment.
“Yes, we’re doing a lot of good work, but it’s on a small scale and not enough to get us beyond where we are now.”
The action plan will also be presented to the other area committees covering Mid-Fife ahead of a final version going to a future meeting of the economy, tourism, strategic planning and transportation committee at the end of the month.