The people have spoken and the findings of Design Dunfermline’s four-day community consultation to shape the future of Scotland’s ancient capital can be revealed.
It found the town centre’s strengths were it green spaces, heritage and history but weaknesses included a lack of marketing and promotion, street clutter such as bins and bollards and inconsistent signage.
It was felt there could be a better range of shops, but that was coupled with the recognition high streets across the UK faced a massive challenge from online shopping.
Participants were asked to come up with a vision of how the town centre should look in 20 years time.
A highly diverse streetscape emerged where people live, work, and learn side by side.
Business incubation hubs, shared learning centres and workshops, combined with retail space, were all ideas which could inspire future innovation and entrepreneurs.
Participants felt developing the town centre as a place to live would ensure it stayed vibrant.
Young people spoke about the high costs of Edinburgh accommodation which would increase the likelihood of them staying in town and travelling to study.
More accommodation would be needed and converting flats above shops was one way of addressing this.
Flats already proposed for Pilmuir Works and the development of Carnegie Clinic would also bring residents into the centre.
Sam Foster, the local architect coordinating the team, said: “Many of the ideas are long term projects which require hard work, a lot of planning and fundraising, as well as patience.
“What the last four days have shown us though, is, that we have a passionate and hardworking local community.”
As well as the long term vision for the area it looked at specific projects that might progress to a feasibility study on one development which would then allow fundraising to start for the most viable project.
On the drawing board were the St Andrews Erskine Church, where it was thought there was potential to develop an outdoor space, and St Margaret’s House with spectacular views of the Abbey which could provide hostel accommodation.
Bringing the former registry office in the heritage quarter back to life would help preserve an important careful consideration would be needed on how to make such a large building financially viable.
Bringing a cinema back to the town centre was another proposal – restoring the former Robins cinema and giving it a filmhouse vibe with café/bar to attract young people into the town centre.
The gap site on the High Street can be looked at as well as improving gateway entrances – at the Glen bridge, Pilmuir Street and East Port – to the town centre.