Tartan Cents funding for Kirkcaldy heritage project

Former Prime Minister and Kirkcaldy MP Gordon Brown officially opened the Adam Smith Heritage Centre,  which was created by Adam Smith Global Foundation, in 2016. Pic: Fife Photo Agency.
Former Prime Minister and Kirkcaldy MP Gordon Brown officially opened the Adam Smith Heritage Centre, which was created by Adam Smith Global Foundation, in 2016. Pic: Fife Photo Agency.

A pilot regeneration project in Kirkcaldy has been selected to receive funding from descendants of Scots who emigrated to the United States.

Adam Smith Global Foundation, based at Adam Smith Heritage Centre in the town’s Adam Smith Close, is privileged to have been chosen as one of only three schemes from across Scotland to take part in the first ever Tartan Cents International Initiative which runs from today (April 6) until May 6, 2018.

The project will benefit from a grant initiative called Tartan Cents, which was originally established to “strengthen community links [with] the homeland” and an estimated 6.6 million US citizens with direct links to Scottish heritage.

Tartan Cents, announced during New York Tartan Week, was launched by Phil Prentice, chief officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnerships, and Rob St Mary, of Patroncity, a Detroit-based business described as a “civic crowd-funding platform”.

The funding will be put towards a “Spirit of Scotland” town trail in Girvan, South Ayrshire, the restoration of Adam Smith’s Garden in Kirkcaldy and the refurbishment of Dunfermline-based Pittencrieff House, the family home of General John Forbes, who went on to found the city of Pittsburgh in 1758.

In a statement, a spokesman for the Adam Smith Global Foundation said: “Adam Smith Global Foundation is hoping to raise £100,000 of funding through the Tartan Cent Platform to support its Birthplace Initiative projects.

“This funding would allow us to build upon the historically significant restoration of the Adam Smith Heritage Centre and Close as well the delivery of the very successful Adam Smith Festival of Ideas which attracted over 5,000 visitors to Smith’s home town of Kirkcaldy.

“Visitors to the Festival enjoyed seeing and hearing from Sandi Toksvig, David Tennant, and Arabella Weir to name but a few.

“The Festival of Ideas attracted interest from around the world.”

The spokesman continued: “The next stage in the Adam Smith Birthplace Initiative will see the development of two projects.

“Firstly, Adam Smith’s Garden which is of international historical significance, will be restored to its former 18th century glory. The garden is located at the rear of Adam Smith’s Heritage Centre within the heart of Kirkcaldy’s Town Centre and will play a pivotal role in the development of Adam Smith’s Birthplace Initiative contributing to the social and economic regeneration of his home town.

“The second project will see the Adam Smith Exhibition and Heritage Trail come to life with our ambitious Augmented Reality project. This project will bring Smith the boy, the man, the philosopher, and the economist to life.” Visitors to Kirkcaldy will be able to walk in the footsteps of Adam Smith and see first-hand the people and the environment which shaped his thinking, leading to the writing of his greatest works in his hometown, from which the Scottish Enlightenment grew and developed.

Mr Prentice said of the Tartan Cents project: “This year is the 20th anniversary of New York Tartan Week, a week of celebrations of all things Scottish.

“Scotland’s story is one of invention, migration and immigration and the cultural identity linked to strong social values.

“Scotland invented most of the modern world, from penicillin, to roads and bicycles, to the television and telephones. The Tartan Cents concept is an innovative first, looking at global connections to support the Scottish homeland.”

Rob St. Mary, director of Outreach at Patronicity, said: “Patronicity has helped dozens of communities in the United States create better places to live, work, and play through the power of crowd-granting over the past five years.”

He added: “We are honoured that our first international foray is Scotland, for several reasons. First, we know the innovative spirit of Smith, Watt, Carnegie, and so many others still burns bright inside today’s Scots. That fire can help make stronger, more vibrant communities for all.

“Second, a very personal one, Scotland is the homeland of my mother who emigrated to the U.S. with my aunt and grandparents in 1970. I still have close family and ties in Scotland. I feel many of us who share this great heritage have sought a meaningful way to connect back home.

“I see Tartan Cents, in partnership with local communities, as a way to give back to a place that has given us so much.”

The Tartan Cents project was intitially launched at the Scotland’s Towns Conference in Paisley in 2017 and the funding platform will be opened from today (April 6).

To find out more and support the Adam Smith Birthplace Initiative please visit www.patronicity.com/adamsmith.