Wish list for Kirkcaldy topped by a new cinema

Options for the old pool building, including a cinema, are being explored
Options for the old pool building, including a cinema, are being explored

A cinema is top of locals’ wish list for the town in 2015, according to the head of Kirkcaldy’s Ambitions group.

Councillor Neil Crooks, who is also chairman of Fife Council’s Kirkcaldy area committee, told the Press if hopes are realised this coming year it would give the town a massive boost.

For months the owners of the Mercat, LaSalle Investment Management, has been in talks with Fife Council’s development team looking at various options to see how the old swimming pool building on the Esplanade can be developed.

When its doors shut in 2013, LaSalle Management assured locals the building would not be left to wither and decay. And in October Simon Usher, associate director, said they were still working with Fife Council’s development team on a number of potential uses for the site.

At the time David Grove, lead development officer with Fife Council, confirmed positive dialogue was ongoing and that options were being explored to develop the building for leisure/entertainment purposes.

Cllr Crooks said: “(Cllr) David Ross, myself and Danny Cepok met last year with our development team to pass on our views about what the people of Kirkcaldy would like to see at the Mercat and waterfront area.

“A cinema complex was identified by us as the number one priority in every poll result for years in Kirkcaldy and we hoped it may eventually become a reality.

“There are many complicated issues surrounding major development at the Mercat - not least of those are the financial markets’ willingness to lend and commercial investors looking positively at Kirkcaldy rather than elsewhere.

“We have shown our support for Kirkcaldy’s public infrastructure by investing in the High Street, the Galleries, sea wall, multi storey and soon the Postings steps and Phase 3 development at the west end.

‘‘We need to keep talking the town up with our partners and the many individuals who share our ambitions.”

He added: “There are commercial sensitivities around major developments but it’s our sincere hope Kirkcaldy will have a cinema once again and if that happens in 2015 there will be much celebration.”

Plans for former building

Councillor Neil Crooks is hopeful the town will have a cinema once again after many years and has previously said that members of Kirkcaldy’s Ambitions will not allow the former swimming pool building on the Esplanade to lie derelict forever.

In October he told the Press: “We’ve no intention of leaving the old swimming pool looking like some monolith spoiling the whole front of Kirkcaldy.”