A major event in Tayport this week is marking the start of ambitious plans to turn the Fife coastal parish into one of the region’s premier tourist destinations.
Thanks to the efforts of Tayport Community Council and Tayport Community Trust, the town has been chosen as one of only 20 communities in Scotland to take part in the Possible Scotland Tour, which is run by Glasgow-based research and design collective Lateral North.
The aim of what’s been described as a “mini-charrette” will be to gather ideas from members of the public about Tayport’s future and what should be in the area, with drop-in sessions organised for Monday and Tuesday at the Burgh Chambers.
Those will be followed by a presentation in the Gregory Hall on Tuesday night which will outline the ideas discussed over the two days.
As well as looking at a possible masterplan for Tayport, the event should also lay foundations for further consultation with the community about the future use of the Burgh Chambers itself and the Gregory Hall, and the potential for those facilities to go into community-led management.
Tay Bridgehead councillor Bill Connor said he was looking forward to the event.
“This is the first time they’ve been in Fife and it’s pretty exciting if we can get everyone’s views together and see what people’s ideas are,” he explained.
“There’s a lot happening in Tayport at the moment, including the exciting plans of the community trust to redevelop the site of the old Abertay works where demolition commenced this week, to create a community hub plus touring and camping facilities.
“It used to be known as Fife’s premier resort, so we’d like to make Tayport Fife’s premier resort again.”
Mr Connor added that he hoped the event would also gauge opinion for a community working group to take over the running of the Burgh Chambers from Fife Council.
“I think there’s a huge support locally that the Burgh Chambers is not sold from under us,” he added.
“The Burgh Chambers and the Gregory Hall are held in Common Good so there are steps Fife Council has to take if they did want to sell them, but we’d much rather not have to go through all that and use the Community Empowerment Act and do what quite a few communities in Fife have done themselves.”
Derek Gray, vice-chairman of Tayport Community Council, said: “There’s no doubt with the V&A coming on stream and the increased tourism in the area, we would be daft not to make sure that Tayport is well placed to take advantage of the opportunities that arise,” he added.
“We’ve got a great opportunity to look at bringing the Burgh Chambers, the Gregory Hall and perhaps other land as well into community management.
“Obviously that presents real challenges in terms of what would we do with them? What use would the community make of them and how sustainable would that be? Where would we get funding from?
“But this is a really important time for communities and we could have a great story here to show what local communities can do with the opportunities and responsibilities that the Community Empowerment Act brings in.”
The drop-in sessions will be held in the Burgh Chambers from 9am to 1pm and 3pm to 6pm in the Burgh Chambers on both Monday and Tuesday, before a presentation is held in the Gregory Hall on Tuesday at 7pm.