Town centre traders and local business people have been giving their views on ambitious proposals aimed at revitalising Kirkcaldy Town Centre.
They attended a special consultation event in the Town House on Tuesday night organised by Kirkcaldy’s Ambitions Group.
The group, which was established following a Town Centre Summit in June 2012, held the meeting to inform the 40-50 local traders who attended on the progress made so far, to get their feedback on what improvements they would like to see and what the next steps are.
Kirkcaldy’s Ambitions Group has drawn up a ‘Time for Action’ plan which sets out its vision for creating a vibrant town centre.
And at the consultation event, traders were given an opportunity to give their feedback on the plan’s four main themes.
Councillor Neil Crooks, chairman of Kirkcaldy’s Ambitions and Fife Council’s Kirkcaldy area committee, said: “Given that it’s been two-and-a-half years since the Town Centre Summit we wanted to catch up with you to let you know the progress we have made so far.
“The ‘Time for Action’ report is based on the information we gathered from the Summit in 2012 and the size of the task that fell on our shoulders was to secure the public money so we could get what we wanted done.”
He spoke about some of the improvements, set out in the plan, which have already been carried out and are due to be done in the near future. These include the work to rebuild the Postings steps which is due to start in February; the improvements to the multi-storey car park on the Esplanade and the work to be done in the High Street’s west end.
Cllr Crooks said the next steps in the short term were to consult with young people at local schools and colleges, hold a public consultation in the Spring and look at parking.
Bill Harvey, manager of Kirkcaldy4All, spoke about the level of collaboration with the partners involved and the importance of everyone’s input.
He told the meeting; “Kirkcaldy’s Ambitions provides us with a vehicle for the future of Kirkcaldy Town Centre to bring people on board with us. This is the start of the consultation process. We think we have a good plan in place to make a change and this consultation will be ongoing for the next three-four months. We want to hear your ideas.”
It’s good to see everything is coming together ...
Town Centre traders and local business people were very positive about the progress being made to create a revived Kirkcaldy.
They were invited to give their views on four main themes at the consultation event.
The themes were - the Social Quarter: which covers retail and the pedestrianised zone in the town centre, but also looks at the creation of more residential space. The Waterfront: looking at ways to capitalise on Kirkcaldy’s unique natural asset; Merchant’s Quarter: creating a new dimension to the east end that taps into the legacy of Adam Smith; Culture and Heritage Quarter: Covering the town’s rich cultural and creative sectors.
Lorraine Gardiner, co-owner of Love Restored furniture shop in the East End, said: “I would like to see us capitalise on the waterfront and make better use of that area.”
Suzy Goodsir from Greener Kirkcaldy said: “I would like to see investment in Kirkcaldy being encouraged and the waterfront is the key. It’s a great asset and it would be good to get people making the most of it.”
John Murray, chairman of Kirkcaldy radio station K107FM, said: “I am impressed by the fact it’s an integrated plan looking at transport, signage, heritage and encouraging tourism in the town.
“I particularly like the work being led by the Adam Smith Foundation on the Adam Smith Heritage Trail.”
Dom Panetta, owner of hair salon Migele Experience, said: “It’s great to see the things we have been talking about starting to come to fruition.
“The waterfront is a gift we have and we need to make more use of it. It would be great to see kiosks there and I am looking forward to seeing how that can be developed.”