Help Shape the Future of Kirkcaldy Town Centre

Help make Kirkcaldy Town Centre a vibrant and thriving place.

 

Town centres across the UK are evolving and Kirkcaldy is no different. To survive and thrive, Kirkcaldy –  like all town centres – needs to broaden its role from retail, and increase its diversity and distinctiveness.

 

Share your views on how Kirkcaldy can become a vibrant, thriving town centre by completing a Place Standard assessment online.

 

 

The survey, which should only take a few minutes to complete, uses the Place Standard Tool to ask 14 questions about what you think is important in Kirkcaldy – from public transport and parking to open spaces and employment.

 

The Place Standard is a tool that is used to assess the quality of a place by asking businesses, residents and visitors to identify their priorities for it.

 

The tool then helps inform conversations and decisions about future priorities for action and funding.

 

Click to access the survey and have your say.

Just: Ask, Listen, Talk – Mental Health Awareness Week

Last week was Mental Awareness Week, highlighting the importance of well-being at work and the role employers have in breaking the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

 

In support of this agenda,  “Just: Ask, Listen, Talk” – a Fife campaign led by Fife Council Supported Employment Service and Fife’s Health Promotion Workplace Team – encourages all Fife-based employers to make a pledge to prioritise mental health in the workplace and make sure their employees feel confident having discussions with managers when they are affected by poor mental health.

 

Delegates at a Mental Health and Employability Forum held at the Rothes Halls on Wednesday 15 May were made aware of the “Just: Ask, Listen Talk” toolkit for employers.

 

The toolkit provides straight-forward, practical advice and information about the free support services in Fife that help businesses support people at work or off sick due to mental health issues.  It also offers guidance on how to create and sustain a mentally-healthy workplace.

 

Angela Hamilton, Team Manager of Fife Council’s Supported Employment Service and lead for the J:ALT team said: “Poor mental health is the leading cause of work absence in the UK, with around half of all long-term sick leave due to stress, depression and anxiety.

 

“Stress is a known health and safety risk at work, and we are encouraging employers to address mental health issues in the same way as they would address physical injury or illness. This isn’t just about people with mental health conditions.  We all have mental health, and we can all be affected by poor mental health.  The Just: Ask, Listen Talk toolkit will help employers recognise signs that show someone may be experiencing poor mental health, encourage them to ask staff if they are OK, then listen and talk about support that might help people stay in work or return to work sooner.”

 

Alan Gow, from the Health Promotion Workplace Team said: “The J:ALT toolkit outlines the key building blocks of a mentally healthy workplace, and we are keen to work with employers in fife to help them put in place their building blocks and sign up to the J:ALT pledge.”

 

Click to download the toolkit and sign up to the Just: Ask, Listen, Talk pledge by emailing hwlfife@nhs.net

 

 

 

 

 

Levenmouth Sustainable Transport Study Makes Progress

Transport Scotland have published the second of three reports for the Levenmouth Sustainable Transport Study.

 

This is the latest step in the appraisal of transport in Levenmouth, and is part of Fife Council’s campaign to reconnect Leven to the rail network.

 

The report recommends further more detailed investigation of six transport improvement options for the Levenmouth Area.  The options include a passenger rail link, improved bus services and better active travel links.  The detailed work is ongoing with the final report on the preferred option due in June.

 

Welcoming the report, Cllr David Ross (Co-leader of Fife Council) said: “Transport Scotland’s endorsement of a potential rail link to Leven is significant progress and Fife Council is delighted that our strong campaign, in partnership with the Levenmouth Rail Campaign, to improve access to jobs and education in this area of Fife is now being heard.”

 

Cllr David Alexander (Co-leader of Fife Council) added: “This is a positive step forward and I am happy to see the completion of this stage of the study.  We will continue to work with local communities, stakeholders and Transport Scotland to develop and complete this important work with a view to  reconnecting Leven to the rail network.”

 

For more information, visit the project website.

 

 

Applications invited for 2020 Fife Business Awards

The 2020 Fife Business Awards are now open for entries and nominations.

 

The 2019 Fife Business Awards were the biggest yet, with a record number of entries and more companies applying than ever before.  The winners came from a variety of sectors – tourism, manufacturing, retail, voluntary, business service and technology.

 

A simple online application process makes it easy for you to enter or nominate another business or charity.

 

Check out the programme of ‘In the Know’ workshops to get practical tips and guidance from past judges and winners to help you apply with greater confidence.

 

Visit the Fife Chamber of Commerce website for information about previous winners and all you need to know about entering next year’s awards,

 

 

 

 

 

Fife Council approves plan to grow food and drink in Fife

Fife Council has approved a new Food and Drink Sector Action Plan that is set to boost the sector in Fife.

 

 

Council members yesterday (9 May) endorsed a new Food and Drink Sector Action Plan designed to support and develop Fife’s food and drink businesses between 2019 and 2023.

 

 

The Fife Food and Drink Action Plan will involve working with large, global businesses located in Fife, whilst seeking to increase the capacity of small and micro-businesses.  It is set to addresses the challenges facing the industry locally, focusing on growth opportunities.

 

 

Food and drink is key to economic growth in Fife, especially in rural areas, and the new Action Plan is set to untap potential and provide a significant boost to the Fife economy.

 

 

A recent study also revealed that the sector’s strength is a major factor in the health of other economic sectors, such as manufacturing, retail and tourism, and is a significant contributor to rural communities.

 

 

Cllr Altany Craik, Convener – Economy, Tourism. Strategic Planning & Transportation Committee, said: “The council and its partners are committed to building on Fife’s strengths and will work with national agencies, including Scotland Food & Drink, to promote Fife’s food and drink capability.

 

 

“The new Action Plan will ensure that business support is available from Fife Council and its partners to ensure that Fife Food and Drink companies – of all sizes –  are fully supported.”

 

 

“The council and its partners remain committed to supporting businesses in the face turbulent economic times, and external factors, such as Brexit and other unknown trade issues. We are proactively working to raise awareness with businesses about possible impacts of a new trading relationship to encourage them to engage in the “Prepare for Brexit” campaign, and access the self-assessment toolkit guidance, and associated grant funding.”

 

 

Click for more information about the food and drink sector.

 

 

 

Fife Business Charter gets the green light

Fife Council’s Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning and Transport Committee members approved the development of a Business Charter on Thursday.

 

The Council will now work with the Fife Economy Partnership and business representative bodies to develop the Charter.

 

The Business Charter seeks commitment to:

  • Increase Fife Council spend with local businesses and promote good employment practice through procurement
  • Further develop services across the council (including planning, licensing, environmental health and procurement) for business customers
  • Set out what support and levels of service businesses can expect
  • Provide information about the council’s services and how to access these
  • Connect businesses to the local community.

 

Once produced, businesses in Fife will be invited to adopt the Fife Business Charter, which will encourage them to:

  • Commit to local recruitment/ employment.
  • Be a good employer through fair work and pay.
  • Support local economic growth through investing in the community.
  • Take an active part in creating employment and training opportunities for young people.

 

Councillor Altany Craik the Convener of the Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning and Transportation Committee said: “The charter will help us to support both Fife’s existing businesses and new companies attracted to grow within the region by making their contact with the Council easier and more effective. The Charter also links to our wider aim of creating the conditions for and harnessing the benefits of inclusive economic growth as outlined in the Plan for Fife.

 

“This Business Charter reinforces our commitment to maximising Fife’s potential and improving the economy for all. We want to work with companies and local people and further promote the creation of employment and training opportunities for local residents, including young people.”

University of St Andrews ranked amongst UK’s best universities

The University of St Andrews has again been ranked the best university in Scotland, according to a new higher education league table published in the Guardian University Guide 2019

 

St Andrews is ranked third overall behind Oxbridge, with Cambridge in first place, St Andrews is now only 0.2 percentage points behind Oxford.

 

The Guide places St Andrews as the only Scottish university in the top 20 out of 121 universities ranked and was ranked first in the UK for student satisfaction with their courses and with teaching.

 

St Andrews academic schools performed strongly with 18 of the University’s 20 subjects in the UK top 10.

 

St Andrews Principal, Professor Sally Mapstone, said: “This is a much-deserved endorsement of the commitment of all who teach, work and study here. It would not be possible without a considerable team effort across our schools and professional service units.”

 

Click to read the full news article on the University of St Andrews website.

 

Scotland’s first cycle circuit opens in Fife

Fife Cycle Park was officially opened on Wednesday 23 May by record breaking long-distance cyclist, Mark Beaumont, and Provost of Fife, Jim Leishman.

 

Funded by Fife Council, sportscotland and the Scottish Government, the purpose build cycle park is set to put central Fife at the forefront of Scottish cycling and promote the Kingdom’s position as the number one destination in Scotland for outdoor activities.

 

A funding contribution of £300,000 of National Lottery investment was made from sportscotland and £300,000 from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.

 

Provost of Fife Jim Leishman said: “Fife Cycle Park is already attracting the attention of regional and national events but it truly will be a facility for all ages and abilities. The Cycle Park team are developing a very inclusive programme which will offer opportunities for everyone to have the chance to be physically active on a bike.

 

Mark Beaumont added: “I’ve really enjoyed opening the Fife Cycle Park today. This is a first for Scotland and a wonderful facility available to everyone, not just skilled cyclists. I believe it will encourage people of all abilities to get on their bikes and have fun”.

 

Read the full article here.

Fife’s youth unemployment down by more than 50%

In May 2017, there were 3,967 people claiming Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) in Fife – over 1,000 fewer claimants compared with the same period last year.

 

The monthly JSA figures, which are published by the Office for National Statistics, reported that 1.7% of Fife’s working age population claimed JSA in May 2017, down from 2.3% of the working age population twelve months ago.

 

Fife’s youth unemployment rate has more than halved in the last 12 months, from 2.7% in May 2016 to 1.2% in May 2017. 520 young people between the ages of 16-24 were claiming JSA in May 2017. This is down from 1,145 claimants made by young people in May 2016.

 

Gordon Mole, Senior Manager for Business & Employability, Fife Council, said: “The reduction in the number of people, particularly young people, claiming JSA is a positive sign.

 

“Developing the Young Workforce Fife (DYW) Fife is increasing the type and volume of employment and training opportunities being offered to young people. DYW is helping bring together schools, colleges and employability providers together to meet the needs of changing industry demands, and a business survey is currently underway in order to identify how DYW can help meet businesses’ future talent development needs. I encourage our employers to complete the survey to let us know how we can work with you.”

 

Employers from across the region are encouraged to join Fife’s Business Voice to give their opinions on how we can best involve them in our local Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) partnership, which is in place to develop Fife’s future workforce.

 

We are now rolling out a range of programmes that Fife businesses are encouraged to take part in – from developing an enterprising culture across our primary schools, to mentoring high school pupils, and from supporting an apprentice to ‘learn the job’, to attending a school careers fair.

 

You are invited to voice your views via our short survey on how we can help meet your future talent development and communications needs. Click here to access the questionnaire

 

For more information and to get involved in Developing the Young Workforce Fife, visit the Opportunities Fife website – the key portal for employment and training opportunities in Fife, which is available to jobseekers of any age.   

Have your say! Take part in the Developing the Young Workforce survey

Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Fife is a business-led partnership that is taking forward the national strategy for talent development and business growth locally. Business involvement is essential to taking this strategy forward and developing the skills and work readiness of young people in Fife.

 

Our Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) team is committed to working with you to strengthen the links between business and education.

 

This survey is looking for your views on how we can help meet your future talent development needs and your communications needs.

 

Take part and complete the survey now.