More than £100,000 is being invested by Fife Council in recruiting someone who can continue Dunfermline’s regeneration.
City of Dunfermline Area Committee have agreed allocate funding of up to £101,528 over three financial years for an economy adviser to promote the town and support local businesses.
In addition to the challenges created by the current pandemic, the town was dealt a blow with the loss of its Business Improvement District (BID) company, Dunfermline Delivers, last year.
A new Community Interest Company called Delivering Dunfermline was established but its staff are currently furloughed and it is set to close imminently.
Labour councillor Helen Law, who is convener of the area committee, said there is an urgent need for someone who can engage with businesses in the absence of the BID, which had helped the town buck the trend and attract new investment.
“It was a huge blow for Dunfermline to lose its BID company. A lot of people worked together to make a huge difference to the town centre.
“It’s just been an awful time, notwithstanding the pandemic, but people are still keen to move forward and ensure all the good work isn’t lost.”
She added despite the Covid-19 outbreak and other set-backs, projects across the town are continuing.
Among these are the development of the Maygate Enterprise Centre – a business hub being created at a vacant building in Maygate.
The committee agreed to grant £20,000 towards the centre’s revenue costs for this financial year, in addition to £36,000 from the local community planning budget towards its further development.
It is hoped, when established, the centre will be financially sustainable.
Meanwhile, the council has used money that would have been allocated to large community events, such as the Outwith Festival, to fund the economy adviser post.
“The area committee was happy to use money that would have been used for events,” said Ms Law.
“There aren’t going to be any big events this year and probably not next year either, so we were happy to use this funding for the next two years.”
Once in post, the new adviser will have a broad remit including building the national profile of the town.
Ms Law said there was a need to invest in Dunfermline’s future prosperity after the pandemic put an end to talks with the Scottish Government on how to move on following the loss of the BID.
She added: “The reality was we were looking for the Scottish Government to make funding available for a new way of working in the town centre. There was a date in the diary to meet with the Scottish Government.
“Unfortunately that meeting didn’t take place because of lockdown.”