Thriving hub in heart of our town

The Hunter Street and Kirk Wynd traders
The Hunter Street and Kirk Wynd traders

Ask people in Kirkcaldy where they go to do their shopping most would probably say the High Street or Retail Park.

Chances are it’s unlikely many of them would say Hunter Street or Kirk Wynd.

But these oft overlooked streets have a large diversity of goods and services for those who prefer to shop locally and now those who own the businesses are getting together to come up with ways to attract shoppers to the area.

They came together in for the first time in May through the Business Gateway which invited them to a meeting with Marks and Spencer which gave tips on how smaller businesses could benefit from marketing strategies and promotion.

From there the group members met with a business consultant to see what they could do to enhance and develop their businesses.

Jill Robertson, of Robertson’s Coffee Shop on Hunter Street, said the sessions were such a success that the group decided to keep the meetings going .

“We got a lot of good ideas in those first sessions,” she said.

“So we’ve decided to keep meetings up to develop what we can. It’s a chance for us to do a bit of brainstorming and also it’s a nice social event too.”

The group had a number of meetings with Bill Harvey from Kirkcaldy 4 All which, the members, said was very constructive.

Jill added: “Bill has been very encouraging and listened to all the things we had to say. There were issues like potholes in Hunter Street, which we discussed with him.He took everything on board and wrote to the Council on our behalf. He has been very helpful.”

The group has a number of issues concerning Hunter Street and Kirk Wynd, an area of the town centre which it feels is consistently overlooked in favour of the High Street.

Jacki Winter, of Secret Wardrobe in Kirk Wynd, said: “There are a number of ways in which we could attract more people to Kirk Wynd and Hunter Street.

“For one, signage needs to be improved. There is nothing anywhere to direct traffic here.”

Tania Korad, of Rouge boutique in Hunter Street, says one obstacle that the group needs to overcome is negativity. “There’s a lot of it in Kirkcaldy unfortunately,” she commented.

“I’ve had people buy something from me and tell me that they can’t believe they found it in Kirkcaldy. They’ve been looking for it in Dunfermline or Edinburgh. That’s incredibly insulting to the town.

“We’re trying to be positive and pro-active and let people know that we’re here and that what people are looking for may be on their own doorstep.”

Jacki said that the group are finding that there’s strength in numbers. “We’re pulling together and it’s working,” she said.

“We’ve discovered that if you don’t ask, you don’t get. We did ask and it’s been very positive.”

The group has so far had leaflets made up which have been distributed and have held a number of pop-up

The members have a number of ideas which they are considering including a loyalty scheme for shoppers in the area and late night shopping in the run-up to Christmas.

Louise Canny, who has been owner of Eloise in Hunter Street for 18 years, said: “Things like Christmas lights, small things like that, can make a big difference.

“The group has a lot of great ideas and we’re all very positive about the future for the area.”