Fife is to benefit from a new £50 million Scottish Government fund to improve struggling town centres.
Fife Council is to be the largest beneficiary of The Town Centre Fund, which is to be distributed amongst all 32 local authorities to finance a wide range of investments to make town centres more vibrant, enterprising and accessible.
Convener of the Council’s Tourism, Strategic Planning and Transportation Committee, Cllr Altany Craik, welcomed the announcement saying: “Our recent budget called for more funding from the Scottish Government to support our efforts and I’m pleased this request has been answered with this announcement.
“The Scottish Government has recognised the importance of investing in Fife’s town centres by allocating over £4.3 million for Fife.
“The funding will be used to support our town centres to become more diverse and sustainable and to increase footfall through local improvements and partnerships.
“This new fund complements wider support for town centres available through Scotland’s Towns Partnerships. Fife Council works closely with the Partnership and will look at both quick wins and longer-terms strategic plans for its town centres.
“We will look to focus this funding on Mid-Fife, where we are developing an action plan and working closely with partners and communities to ensure that its town centres have a vibrant and essential role in supporting future economic and housing growth.
“Across the UK, town centres are facing persistent and serious challenges as consumer behaviour and economic changes cause difficulties in filling retail units and higher vacancy rates. This is not just a Fife issue – it is a UK issue.
“We are 100% committed to supporting the evolution of town centres, particularly where challenges have been more pronounced. For example, in Kirkcaldy, we’re working closely with the local Business Improvement District, Kirkcaldy4All, business owners, property managers and organisations such as the Kirkcaldy Ambitions Partnership to deliver an enhanced town centre experience for shoppers and visitors.”