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Vision and Values

Initial consultation on general issues from the architect's survey

The architect undertook a survey of the Town Centre using his own observations and some desk research. He produced a map that showed current land and building use of the Town Centre, and did a photographic elevation profile of both sides of the High Street.  His conclusions were:


  • Kirkcaldy had a very long high street compared to most Scottish towns, which was now suffering more than most because of the huge retail offer it provided beyond the town;

  • Around 50% of the space above the ground floor retail level was vacant, and some of it had been unused for decades;

  • There was potential to convert this empty space into living accommodation, but the costs of retrofitting (including refitting internal and external staircase access) would be substantial and unattractive to commercial developers;

  • Focus on the High Street had adversely affected Waterfront development, and there was now real potential to address this issue given the old swimming pool site and the unpopular multi-storey car park beside it;

  • Creating more town centre living was a strategy that would help revive the Town Centre;

  • The larger, empty units on the High Street could be repurposed to provide some of the services and activities that the public had already alluded to in the webinars and survey; 

  • There needed to be better connectivity between the High Street and the Esplanade to make accessibility easier, safer, and more inviting, to get to the Waterfront.


LOLT did a first stage consultation based on the architect’s findings, and to engage the wider Kirkcaldy community in what they would like to see for a future Kirkcaldy Town Centre.  After that, we would look at selected sites where the architect would produce concept drawings of how they could be repurposed and developed.  LOLT decided to describe these as ‘opportunity sites’, rather than derelict or vacant sites, to give a sense of evolving and moving forward.   

LOLT produced display boards and undertook consultation at the Artisan Fridays market, and was allowed to use space in The Mercat to talk with people there.  There was also an online consultation, and a special engagement session with local Town Centre businesses.  Through these mechanisms, around 250 people had been involved, and we had a final-year student at Stirling University do some independent analysis of the contributions.  

Second phase consultation based on opportunity sites and architect's concept drawings

Following the results of the first phase consultation, LOLT decided to focus on four different sizes of opportunity sites to undertake a more detailed engagement based on concept drawings.  We chose this method as previous major proposals for Kirkcaldy were developer-led and did not consist of any serious community engagement.  Some of these consisted of grand ideas that included a glass-fronted shopping mall on the Waterfront, piers built out into the Forth, and an integrated offshore sea and wind turbine installation.  Needless to say, none of these came to fruition. 


LOLT wanted an engagement process that was ambitious and realistic as to what can be achieved.  We wanted an engagement process that brought their ideas to life so that they could visualise a 21st century Town Centre for Kirkcaldy, and be able to comment and influence future developments for the Town Centre.  We preferred to do this rather than undertake a masterplan approach.

Next:  The Future Is Now: a 21st century Town Centre

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