Kirkcaldy councillors to discuss new Mid-Fife economic action plan

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Kirkcaldy councillors are set to discuss a new economic action plan for the Mid-Fife area at next week’s Kirkcaldy Area Committee (Tuesday).

Members will be asked to provide their views on the draft action plan that covers the Kirkcaldy, Cowdenbeath, Glenrothes and Levenmouth areas.

Cllr Altany Craik, Convener of the Council’s Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning and Transportation Committee explained: “The Plan for Fife set out our commitment to ensure there is a particular focus on improving economic activity in the Mid-Fife area, where challenges have been more pronounced. This action plan sets out a range of recommendations that prioritise better jobs, raising incomes and delivering economic growth for an area that is struggling to do as well as it could.”

The plan is made up of 24 actions, both area-wide and geographically specific. For the Kirkcaldy area, it recommends:

  • major modernisation of the existing industrial estates;
  • a new carbon zero business and innovation park to be built on the land adjoining Mitchelston Industrial Estate;
  • developing more radical proposals for the town centre including improving the night-time economy and increasing residential opportunities;
  • maximising the attractiveness of the waterfront and better connect the town to the Esplanade by building on the current investment that’s already happening; and
  • developing tourism accommodation that is attractive to both coastal path visitors and those seeking higher end accommodation.

Cllr Neil Crooks, Convener of the Kirkcaldy Area Committee, said: “There’s understandably much focus and discussion on what we can do immediately to improve the area. There are a wide range of projects and investments underway to help deliver on these for Kirkcaldy. However, it’s also very important that we identify, prioritise and resource longer term visions too.

“We need a coordinated, multi-agency approach to address the scale of the challenges that we are presented with in the Kirkcaldy and Mid-Fife area. I’m particularly interested in the proposal to build a carbon zero business and innovation park in Kirkcaldy as locally we are significantly under-represented in this field.

“House prices and the cost of living in Mid-Fife are relatively low compared to Edinburgh. We can do more to attract people to live in the area which boasts an impressive coast, heritage and rural offering.

“For example, living in Kirkcaldy and commuting to Edinburgh could save someone over £8,700 annually – that’s quite an incentive and opportunity.”

The action plan will also be presented to the other area committees covering Mid-Fife ahead of a final version going to a future meeting of the Council’s Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning and Transportation Committee. You can read the action plan as part of the papers for the next Kirkcaldy Area Committee.