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A Warm Welcome to Business Improvement District (BID) Concept

Local businesses and public sector agencies were unanimous in their support of the concept of a Business Improvement District (BIDs) for Kirkcaldy Town Centre after hearing from 2 informative speakers at a meeting yesterday (30th April 2008). Organised by KTCM and attended by 23 people, Alastair Mitchell (Falkirk Town Centre Manager) and Ian Broadfoot (Edinburgh City Centre Manager) gave 2 highly informative presentations on their respective BIDs.

The audience was receptive to the process and ultimately the benefits to be derived from a BID in any location. The involvement of businesses throughout the process was fundamental because a BID would be led by businesses for businesses. Secondly, businesses would benefit by taking control and ownership of those issues that matter to them the most for better business prospects as well as the environment in which they work. With 1,400 BIDs in operation worldwide and 71 in the UK 3 of which are in Scotland, the BID concept is being increasingly adopted to enable town centre partnerships to make a significant impact on the trading environment. It was made abundantly clear that a BID would not be a substitute for existing Council and other public sector services but would be in addition to these services, and then only if the businesses actually vote for them.

KTCM Director Colin Brown, who chaired the meeting, said

“It was encouraging to see the positive response from the local business community who attended the meeting. The first meeting is very much the start of the process of consulting with every business in the town centre who will shortly receive a Fact Sheet on BIDS from KTCM.

I would like to encourage all business to digest what a BID is about and how it could benefit them and also to get involved – future meetings will be organised where I and the other directors would be happy to answer your questions on the concept of the Kirkcaldy BID and discuss what the BID would do.

The Kirkcaldy BID will only happen if the businesses of Kirkcaldy want it to happen and I look forward to working with local companies as we continue in our efforts to make Kirkcaldy better.”

David Chalmers, Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (Fife), gave his support to the BID concept:

“The meeting was very interesting, and those people attending were supportive of the proposals. I think there is a growing realisation that, unless action is taken now or in the very near future, town centres everywhere will go into terminal decline. KTCM can certainly count on FSB Fife’s support you and I would be delighted to help in any way I can.”

Sunil Varu, Town Centre Manager, added,

“Given the positive response, we will notify Fife Council of our intention to progress and seek funding from the Scottish Government it kick start the process which both speakers emphasised, will take at least 12 months to complete”.

Continental Flavours Return For 4 days to Give Kirkcaldy Town Centre a real “Buzz”

Kirkcaldy’s residents and visitors will soon be saying “Ciao” or “Bonjour” to the return of the popular Continental Market to Kirkcaldy High Street! Kirkcaldy Town Centre Management this week announced the return of the popular Continental Market to the High Street from 24th – 27th April 2008. This year the Market is back for 4 days and combines with the Fife Farmers’ Market, making this Fife’s largest traditional Market Weekend of the year

The market offers shoppers yet another opportunity to experience the tastes, sights and smells of an authentic continental market, along with the opportunity to buy something extra special. The market will run from 9.00am until 5.00pm (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) and from 10.00am until 4.00pm on Sunday.

The market follows on from successful events which have taken place within the town over the past three years. Again it will feature around 30 stalls from all around Europe, including France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Portugal and Spain. On sale will be a range of produce including flowers, fruit, vegetables, cheeses, craft items, candles, jams, conserves and preserves. Also there will be the crocodile, wild boar and ostrich steaks to savour. The public will also have the opportunity to sample many of these items in the continental tradition before buying. The traders will offer hot food to take away, including Bavarian Sausage, Potatoes Provençal, Crêpes and Baguettes and the famous Tarteflette.

Sunil Varu, Kirkcaldy Town Centre Manager said:
“I am looking forward to the market and I fully anticipate people from around Fife, and beyond, to descend into Kirkcaldy Town Centre to enjoy the sights and smells of the Continent. Kirkcaldy Town centre Management are encouraging Town Centre shops to embrace the fun element of the market and present a continental feel in their own shops. From window dressing, the sale of goods through to staff dress, there are plenty of opportunities to ‘Go Continental’ and enjoy the banter with the public.

The market also represents yet another “Fun” event organised by KTCM for the community to enjoy and is very much aimed at giving the Town Centre the “buzz” that we all recognise it needs and deserves. Once again, we are marketing not just the market but Kirkcaldy to a wide audience in our continued efforts to promote Kirkcaldy as a destination of choice”

Groupe Geraud Chief Executive, Andy Burnett, said;
“We are glad to be back. So far, we have been warmly welcomed to the town and our traders were pleased to come to Kirkcaldy for 4 days when we announced the dates of the event. We would like also to take his opportunity to thank the public for their overwhelming support for our events in the past – long may it continue.”

Partnership Boosts Promotion of Kirkcaldy

eventsflyerKirkcaldy Town Centre Management (KTCM) and Fife Council’s Community Services announced this week two major initiatives designed to promote Kirkcaldy to a wider audience beyond Fife with the aim of raising the profile of the town as a visitor destination of choice. Both initiatives looked to capitalise on the fact that both KTCM and Fife Council will be staging a number of major events in Kirkcaldy this summer.

Firstly, KTCM announced a sponsorship deal with Kirkcaldy Museum & Art Gallery (KMAG) to sponsor the forthcoming Jack Vettriano Exhibition “Love, Devotion and Surrender” which runs from 3rd June to 16th July. Announcing the deal KTCM Chairman Alan Mentiplay stated,

“KTCM is delighted to take up this exciting sponsorship opportunity with KMAG and reinforce our view that the field of arts and culture is important to the future well being of the Kirkcaldy as destination of choice. As a progressive Company, KTCM wishes to match the hopes and ambition of KMAG in bringing Jack Vettriano’s high profile exhibition to Kirkcaldy and, more importantly, to open up such opportunities for local Companies to collaborate with KTCM and other agencies to improve the quality of experience in Kirkcaldy”.

Dallas Mechan, Museums Co-ordinator with Fife Council, welcomed the sponsorship deal,

“Kirkcaldy Museum & Art Gallery is thrilled to be able to bring Jack Vettriano’s exhibition of new work “Love Devotion and Surrender” to Fife for its only UK showing outside London. Having the support of local business through KTCM to stage the exhibition is a very welcome boost and will undoubtedly help get the message out to new audiences in Fife and beyond that this Gallery is an attraction well worth visiting!”

The second major initiative is a partnership between KTCM and Fife Council’s Community Services to produce a full colour, high quality “Summer Events in Kirkcaldy” pamphlet promoting these major events as a co-ordinated approach.

Kirkcaldy Town Centre Manager, Sunil Varu, commented:

“With some nationally and internationally renowned events taking place right here in Kirkcaldy, we believed a stronger and a more co-ordinated promotional push was essential, and 100,000 of these pamphlets will be distributed throughout and beyond Fife. The people of Kirkcaldy and Fife should be aware of not only the Vettriano but also of the Peploe/Fergusson exhibition ‘In Colour’ (15th July – 8th October) coming to KMAG later this summer whilst Beveridge Park will host the first ever Scottish Balloon Challenge (7th- 9th July) attracting thousands of visitors to Kirkcaldy. KTCM will also bring to Kirkcaldy Scotland’s first “International Market” in September. All of these events will bring thousands of additional people into Kirkcaldy”.

Frank Chinn, Rothes Halls Manager and leading the organisation of the Scottish Balloon Challenge, added his support to this venture,

“Through the organisation and funding of the Scottish Balloon Challenge Fife Council Community Services is delighted to be able to add support to KTCM’s aspirations to promote Kirkcaldy to a wider audience.

The Scottish Balloon Challenge has received significant levels of funding from EventScotland’s Regional Events Programme and Fife Council’s Major Events Programme and I am confident it will contribute towards raising the profile of Fife and in particular Kirkcaldy. Also running concurrently with the Scottish Balloon Challenge in the Beveridge Park are the Beveridge Park Community Festival, the Kirkcaldy-Ingolstadt Beer Festival, It’s A Knockout competition, a Family Fun Day and a Fun Fair.” Full details of the Scottish Balloon Challenge and associated events can be found at www.fifedirect.org.uk/scottishballoon”.

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