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Kirkcaldy waterfront revamp edges a step closer

How one of the Kirkcaldy Esplanade viewing platforms could look as part of the waterfront regeneration
How one of the Kirkcaldy Esplanade viewing platforms could look as part of the waterfront regeneration

Regeneration of Kirkcaldy’s waterfront, which it is hoped could be a turning point for the town, has taken a step forward.

Fife Council has lodged a planning application for the £1.4 million revamp of part of the town’s esplanade.

If given the green light, the dual carriageway will be reduced to a single carriageway north of Tolbooth Street and viewing platforms created to make the most of the spectacular vista of the Forth.

More parking and pedestrian crossings and a public realm space would be created in front of the old YWCA building.

Over decades, Kirkcaldy town centre has been deemed to have turned its back on the coastline and the scheme aims to reconnect it with the waterfront.

Kirkcaldy Central councillor Alistair Cameron said: “This is a really bold project and we are being bold in looking to get it going.”

Despite a series of blows for Kirkcaldy town centre, including the recent loss of Marks and Spencer, Mr Cameron said positive things were happening.

He said: “Around 30,000 people a month use the waterfront a month, running clubs use it on a regular basis, and on a glorious day like today there are loads of people down there. It is becoming a major attraction.

“We are working together to bring people into Kirkcaldy in different ways, and bring events.

“The waterfront will be key to all this and I think this will be one of the major turning points for Kirkcaldy.”

If approved, work will begin after the Links Market in April and it is intended the transformation would be complete before the Christmas shopping season.

The project was devised with the Kirkcaldy Waterfront group, Kirkcaldy’s Ambitions Partnership and Kirkcaldy 4 All, with input from public consultation.

The planning application submitted by the council’s transportation service will be determined by councillors.

Meanwhile, work is progressing to convert the former YWCA building into a creative hub.

The council’s Kirkcaldy area committee is to be asked for a £20,000 grant by the Kings Theatre Trust, which is also breathing new life into the former cinema on the High Street.

It intends to create a 100-seat pop-up venue on the ground floor for live music, comedy, small theatre performance, DJs and poetry events.

There will also be café operating as part of the community regeneration project.

The board has already been raising funds and attract support from businesses, tradespeople and volunteers to carry out the revamp but has a £20,000 shortfall.

A decision on the application is due when the committee meets next week.

It is hoped doors to the venue will open in June, with a second phase of development to create space for a recording studio, offices and training.

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