Improved parking, visual appeal and accessibility will be key to creating a “21st century” town centre for Kirkcaldy, it has been claimed.
Councillors were given their most detailed briefing yet on the work done by Kirkcaldy Ambitions, the working group established to lead the regeneration of the struggling town centre.
With 1 million of funding available, proposals have been put forward to establish four distinct quarters in the main shopping precinct, connect the waterfront to the town centre, and light up some of the town’s most picturesque sights.
Although the town has recently seen the opening of a new leisure centre and refurbished art gallery and library, little has emerged so far from a town centre “summit” held in 2012.
However, Danny Cepok, Fife Council’s area services manager for Kirkcaldy, said that after two years of planning, the time to start work was due.
“We have been thinking about the structure of the town centre and about what a 21st century town centre looks like,” he said.
“It’s been about two years since we held the summit but with a regeneration project there is that first two or three years that is spent developing and planning and that is where we have been, although there have been some achievements.
“We are at the stage where we will see a phase of physical transformation over the next year.”
Mr Cepok said the town centre would be divided into “quarters” social, merchant, cultural and the waterfront. Measures will also be taken to make the town centre more vehicle-friendly, with parking spaces at the Esplanade car park to be widened by 50% to cater for larger, modern cars and for visitors with wheelchairs and prams.
Integrating the waterfront is to continue with efforts being made to encourage more Coastal Path users to detour into the town centre, while the Memorial Gardens and Old Kirk building could benefit from improved lighting.