City-centre revival plans take shape
THE first steps in ambitious plans to revive Dunfermline city centre are about to start with the installation of visitor information signs at 11 locations.
The £30,000 scheme is aimed at helping people find their way around and
Fife Council leader Alex Rowley said, "This is just the start of the process.
"We will continue to work with the local businesses and groups who attended the recent summit in the Glen Pavilion.
"We will keep consulting with the local community and the changes being proposed will be flexible. We want the feedback to continue so we can reach the aim of making Dunfermline city centre being a vibrant hub, attracting new businesses and making the most of the great potential for tourism."
A report to the City of Dunfermline area committee yesterday (Wednesday) revealed that January will see the start of a £2.5 million scheme of pedestrian zone street improvements which will not be completed until October 2015.
There is to be a review of the impact of car-park provision and management on city centre vibrancy.
In April, a £120,000 improvements programme will begin to enhance city centre access and connect car parks, the bus station and rail station with local attractions and shopping using a shuttle bus service.
There will be additional signs introduced to guide visitors to key attractions and independent businesses.
A tourism business workshop is to be organised to discuss how Dunfermline promotes itself to the visitor market as a city.
The council will campaign for an early review of city-centre rate assessments which were set at the height of the property boom in 2008.
There will be efforts to create market opportunities to attract new occupiers, encourage an attractive mix of shopping and make vacant units available for start-up businesses.
The City Chambers will be restored to a prime location for functions and events as well as a key local landmark.
Another proposal is to work with the private sector to consider the viability of the development of an additional west end car park, a hotel and retail development and possibly city centre housing at the 'city square' site identified in the local plan.
The report showed that 16.3 per cent of retail space was recorded as vacant in July 2012 in Dunfermline city centre. The 12,000 square metres of vacant retail space available is equivalent to the floor space of one-and-a-half East End Parks.
The issues and actions identified following the consultation are grouped under six headings:
Address access, parking and signs.
Market city centre to visitors.
Support business to encourage good mix of retail.
Ensure property maintenance and clean streets.
Improve public realm and attract private sector investment.
Demonstrate leadership and work more effectively together.
The report stated, "Since 2008 pressures on Dunfermline city centre trade have intensified, including recessionary impact on retail spend which is now all but static; downward pressures on jobs, incomes and benefits; continued expansion of large supermarket outlets (eg Tesco, Duloch); growth of internet transactions across most retail sectors; and expansion of the out-of-town activity such as the leisure park at Halbeath.
"All town centres in the United Kingdom are faced with strong market challenges and retail uses in particular facing downward customer demand. Nevertheless, for most residents of Dunfermline the appearance and vitality is still important and reflects on the image and health of the town and its economy.
"If Dunfermline is to adapt and improve it will need to receive public sector support, mainly in the form of Fife Council investment along with the need to retain and attract private-sector investment.
"Fife Council therefore needs to make a strong statement on what its commitment is to supporting the long-term interests of its town centres and how in the short and medium term it will go about it.
"This provides a greater level of confidence for private-sector investment decisions."
This article appeared in Dunfermline Press 17 Aug 12
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Aug 17, 10:58
Aug 17, 11:03
Aug 17, 12:12
They should start by putting gates at the Glen car park which can be opened at 9am then perhaps people who visit the Glen can get parked, at the moment all the towns workers use it meaning it is full up all day leaving few parking spaces for visitors, during school holidays or a nice day it is horrendous, no spaces, so if you wanted to spend a few hours there it is impossible. I worked for years in the town so know how expensive car parking is, but there is now a free one at Bellyomean and nearer the town so no excuse.
Recommend? Yes 11 No 6
Aug 17, 17:02
Aug 19, 02:03
Aug 21, 13:25
oxford dictionary of geography . city = large urban centre functioning as a central place which provides specialised goods and services.
no european agreement on population size.
Recommend? Yes 3 No 1
Aug 21, 15:07
Better make sure that there's a sign warning visitors who think otherwise that they are liable to be knocked down and injured by a so-called-disabled car in the so-called-pedestrianised area!
Get a bus to Stirling, Livingston, Glenrothes, even Kirkcaldy, anywhere where 'pedestrianised' means that pedestrians have priority.
Recommend? Yes 11 No 1
Aug 21, 17:10
Aug 22, 12:13
Aug 22, 13:39
Stop calling it a city. Its not a city according to the list published by the Department for Constitutional Affairs. We cant meet the many requirements which would qualify us to be named as a city and for that reason the department lists Dunfermline as a town.
The new visitor signs should say go to Stirling, Falkirk, Livingston or Edinburgh if your looking for good shopping areas.
Recommend? Yes 4 No 4
Aug 23, 00:22
I was looking on the internet and came over the DUNFERMLINE CITY CENTRE PUBLIC REALM MASTERPLAN which has been carried out by Fife Council in July 2010 , i agree with everything it is in it and a lot of people would be so happy if you carried the works out.
I know a lot of the works are mentioned in the report but it looks like it's over different phases which the first phase is the High Street which is in need of a lot of work to make it a better place for tourists and the people of Dunfermline.
The number one problem with Dunfermline High Street as it says in the report and you probably heard a lot at ABOUT is the cars that are on the High Street, the High Street is pedestrian zone and should not have any cars on it at all. I was up town yesterday and was shocked to see how many cars are there, this needs to be addressed as soon as possible as it puts you off your shopping experience, i was so glad to read page 13 of the master-plan that suggested automatic pass controlled bollards at Douglas Street and both ends of the High Street to be installed.
The second most important point that needs to be addressed is the gap site which is the old coop site, which in the master-plan it advises that a civic square should be built in the space, which is a really good idea and looks really nice but we need to have to a have some large flagships stores in it that would attract all the footfall from Kingsgate shopping centre down to that end of the High Street which in turn would attract more shops to that part of the High Street and links to Bruce Street. We should try and get shops like TK Maxx, Superdry or Zara to be the flagship stores in the new development as documented on page 19 of the master-plan.I would could if we could get these flagship stores to occupy the new coop gap site with large floor space.I also suggest that we have a mini civic square at the back of the new building with a large jumbotron screen in it(like in Festival Square,Edinburgh) so we can use it to promote local events(Visit Dunfermline etc) and also so live sporting events ie. Olympics etc, it would be advantage to have a jumbotron screen here as we would have footfall from the Bus Station and people walking in the new shopping plaza and links to Bruce Street.
Shops would open stores in Dunfermline if they where given the correct size of shop(floorspace) to open up in ie new three floor shopping plaza /mini civic square that would replace the old coop site.
1st Floor Zara(Flagship Store)
2nd Floor Superdry(Flagship Store)
3rd Floor TK Maxx (Flagship Store)
We could fund this by doing what the company at Halbeath Retail Park done building the unit with the client already on board so making the floor space correct for shop in question.
Below is a link to the Jumbotron Screen in Edinburgh,its been on the news recently with Olympics and the Tennis.
The master-plan document is a amazing document,because it would make Dunfermline such amazing place to live in and socialize in as well.Dunfermline has a opportunity to become great again with this,with its idea for cafe culture on the High Street(new JDW etc) and it's street by street planning for seating and planting of trees and signage etc.
I would only really add another couple of points which the master-plan does not mention
1.I would build a multi-store car park in Walmer Drive suits everyone its close to the town center(5 minute walk) and will help with parking for shows for the Albrahama and in future people visiting the new museum.The entry to it could be on East Port and the exit at the bottom of the New Row with the most that you could pay being £5 which is the same as what Livingston is but cheaper than the £10 that you would pay in Edinburgh and it would also keep the High Street clear of cars.I would fund the building of the new multi-storey car park by selling all the little car parks that are spread around Dunfermline High Street.We could also run a little shuttle bus that would go around the town centre for the disabled etc and would stop at certain points so we could attract footfall as well.
2.St Andrews seems to have the right idea with the mixture of big High Street shops and little independent ones but mixed together so not attracting all the customers to one area of there High Street and that what Dunfermline High Street needs to do.
3.Bruce Street should be pedestrian so helping them attract shops or restaurants(ideal for cafe culture,outdoor seats) as that road is now dufunct with Tesco cutting off the top of that Street.
4.The Maygate part of Dunfermline Town centre is really nice part of the town center with soon to be future opening of the museum and there are a lot of good interdependent good shops down which we need more of to grow and spread into the disgrace which is Bridge Street and parts of Bruce Street.We really need better signage as well for the area as well as it not signed posted at the moment and the shops are not doing good business because of that.
4.B. There is also a dire need for decent signage for our shops, like the Maygate area,Bonar Street,James Street,Eastport,Chalmers Street and Bridge Street this could be sorted by installing DIGITAL SIGNAGE SCREENS which could point people in the right direction it would also be easy to update if a shop left a specific area, we could also have these signs our in certain areas where is a lot of footfall like next to Mercat Cross adverts for shops and pubs/resturant and clubs in Guildhall Street,Maygate,Canmore Street, and another one at the end of the High Street next to Marks & Spencer that could have adverts for shops in the New Row, Bonar Street, James Street,East Port and the other sign could be at the bottom of High Street serving the bottom of the High Street and Bruce Street and Bridge Street and Chalmers Street.
The sign could also have a function of a map and be used for bus information and train information and could be used for Pubs & Clubs & Taxi's information at night.
5.Built a subway under Carnegie Drive to link Carnegie Retail Park and the Kingsgate Shopping Centre up also a link for additional car parking spaces which are free for 2 hours also attracting footfall to both area's
6.We also need to come up with some parking for Carnegie Leisure Centre as there is no parking at the moment,maybe some parking on Campbell Street as there is waste land along that road that easily get turned into a car park for families and members of the public to use.
7.Make more use of Public Park Gardens, have the fireworks there as it amazing park and does not get used and ie the band stand ect.
8.Better transport links to Fife Leisure Park ie. better bus system and timetables.We also need a shuttle bus to runaround the town centre as well.
9.The council needs to speak to the Landlords who own the empty buildings and get them to lower there rates so attracting new independents shops and mainstream ones as well.
10. Attract new business into all the empty units(or make bigger units) in Dunfermline by lowering the rates that the landlords or the council charge so attracting new independents or mainstream stores in the High Street,Bruce Street,Bridge Street,Chalmers St,East Port,New Row
we need to sort out the empty units in these area's or other shops while just close.The Mary Portas High Street report is a good idea where it does not have to be shops that open leisure activities as well.
11.We need to stop opening the same kind of shops in the town centre,we have so many bakers and hairdressers in the town centre we need a better mixture of shops etc so creating footfall.
13.Maybe relocate the Carnegie College to either Tesco site if they don't built them or move it to Bridge Street so creating footfall to that end of High Street.This would be funded by selling the land that Carnegie College is on at the moment.
I have also saw all the plans for houses that we going to build in Dunfermline so we really need start moving and give these people who move here better infrastructure ie shops,better high street better leisure activities or all these people are just going to shop elsewhere and take the money they work for out of Dunfermline.
If you read the Dunfermline Press website article & posts(What does Dunfermline have to offer ?) you will see that i am not the only one who is annoyed and upset at the state of High Street there are a lot of people fed up with the state of the High Street and choose to visit and spend there money in Livingston and Stirling because they have better shops better parking and better sign posted tourist attractions.But Dunfermline has a advantage over these two all our tourist attractions are 10 minutes walking from our High Street.
As a big town we should take advantage of what we have near,ie we have the Scotland's biggest music festival just 10 mins up the road every year but we don t take advantage of it by having linked events either in Sinclar Gardens or Pittencrief Park which could be a tourist attraction for the town.
We also have the Ryder Cup coming to the area soon in 2014 so that will bring loads of tourists into the area,so need to take advantage of this.
We also have the Fife Earth Project(Kelty open cast mine)completed by then so another tourists attraction.
We do have amazing people in Dunfermline who want to make Dunfermline a success with Rubens and Grill48 and Fabric & Visit Dunfermline(Thomas Moffat) & The Albrahama being recent success stories to show if you put the effort in you will be a success in Dunfermline.
Recommend? Yes 5 No 0
Aug 23, 12:44
Some good, and some not so good (almost nonsensical) points made above.
First of all, Dunfermline is not a city, it's a town.
I agree with the walkway over Carnegie Drive for access to the retail park, although in my opinion the retail park should be bulldozed as it's one of the biggest eyesores in the 'town'.
The High Street pedestrian zone is a disgrace, and something needs to be done NOW to stop the lazy and selfish few who abuse the woefully inadequete system we currently have in place. For a start, identify and punish those who drive or park outwith the allowed timescales.
Something should have been done about the Co-op site at least 20 years ago, why on earth are we still looking at a pathetic eyesore in what is the heart of our town centre after all this time? Easy answer, Fife Council are woefully inept and are only interested in making it extremely difficult, nae impossible for drivers to enter, park or exit the town centre. Exactly how many traffic lights per square mile do we have?!
On the subject of traffic lights, Sinclair Gardens roundabout and the spaghetti junction at Pilmuir Street / Carnegie Drive is a disaster for visitors to the town. I've had people tell me they got so fed up trying to find their way into the town centre they gave up and went elsewhere!
And when will we have something doen about the old Dunlop Textiles factory..... will this be another Co-op?
Recommend? Yes 3 No 3
Aug 23, 13:12
i have recently met with a senior police officer to discuss illegal use of the pedestrianised zone , and apparent lack of meaningful enforcement of regulations concerning vehicles regularly using the area as an illegal drive through route , ignoring no entry signage,illegal parking at all hours of the day and night.
all this despite advice given to the dunfermline press and the general public years ago that this matter was being dealt with and police officers on patrol day and night had been advised and reminded to enforce all the relevant access and parking regulations when in the area.
lets see what happens this time.
Recommend? Yes 3 No 0
Aug 23, 13:35
Fair fair points Maclam....tell me why illegally parked cars and vans including an idiot within the the pelican crossing causing an obstruction cos his girlfriend has to go to costa coffee for a takeaway and a police van is held up at the top of the new row and eventually gets thro shaking his head...and did nothing!!!.it was different last week when the police van warned me for being just outside the lines...but there again maybe the time was different and the kettle was boiling in the station....Eh???
Recommend? Yes 5 No 0
Aug 23, 14:22
" redrobin "the points regarding police when present in the supposed pedestrianised area driving about blissfully unaware of their duty and responsibilities concerning these matters were in fact pointed out to the officer during my meeting with him.
as i said lets see what happens this time.
as you stated it is ages since i saw anyone warned for parking outside the marked bays in the zone , these marked areas are the only allowed parking areas which can be used in the zone , yet vehicles regularly park even on the pedestrian paved areas with no action taken by police or traffic wardens when they can be found.
Recommend? Yes 5 No 0
Aug 23, 18:16
Aug 23, 22:36
Hi , if you read the Dunfermline Public Realm Masterplan , you can see that the plan says to install retractable bollards into Douglas Street and at both end of the High Street and Guildhall Street so stopping those annoying drivers who drive on the High Street and should know better........
The council in there report, released last week are looking into parking in Dunfermline and carry out the public realm masterplan which should get rid of these ANNOYING DRIVERS once and for all, the coop site needs attention ASAP as well..... There are plenty idea's for it but money is needed to built a shopping plaza ...
Bendover 1 which points are mad.... Most of my points are just common sence.......
Recommend? Yes 2 No 0
Aug 24, 13:21
"itsallwentpetetong" thats ok, but when will we see them , they have spoken about this many times before.perhaps the retractable bollards matter in the interests of public safety should be dealt with before setting up expensive information boards.
Recommend? Yes 2 No 0
Aug 25, 10:30
If the people who go to other towns to shop tried staying in Dunfermline to shop then maybe some of the shops they go would open branches in Dunfermline. The Co-op gap is not a thing of beauty, but the hoarding round the Tesco does not make it any less of an eyesore, and as this eyesore was planned ,make a start to show they plan to use the site, then stop at no inconvenience to them The inconvenience is to the people who have to walk so much further to avoid the site. Shops are really not what is needed but factories to manufacture goods to sell for the money to spend if shops that would arrive because of the money that is now more available.
Recommend? Yes 0 No 0
Aug 27, 08:06