A new weekly artisan market in Kirkcaldy High Street is launching with hopes it will breathe new life into the town centre.
The initiative has been organised by businesswoman Louise Canny who is arranging for 15 quality stalls to be set up under brightly coloured gazebos in front of the empty M&S and BHS units, as well as other empty shops.
Stallholders lined up for this week’s market include: Cups ‘N’ Cakes by Monika, Nectar Expresso selling coffee, hot crepes from Anderson’s coffee shop, C. Sinclair fresh fish merchant, Erincroft Bakery, Dinky Donuts Scotland, Bad Gal Boocha offering naturally fermented Scottish Kombucha tea, Tay Bees and Honey and mixed fruit and veg.
Fife College students who are currently learning to cook and bake on courses will also be bringing their produce down to the market to sell.
And Puddledub are joining the stallholders on the High Street to host a Puddledub BBQ - offering steak rolls and sausages on rolls.
The move will give the impression of the High Street working at full capacity.
With the support of BID company, Kirkcaldy4All, Louise has won the backing of Fife Council and aims to change the landscape of the pedestrianised precinct with the new market which will operate every Friday from November 22, from 9am to 5pm.
And the first one is being held this Friday (November 22).
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Louise told The Press she had originally wanted 25 stalls in the area but had to cut back the number due to restrictions by Fife Council’s transportation department.
She said: “Transportation came out and they measured the parameters of the gazebos which have to be 1.8 meters away from any street furniture. I also have to be 1.8 meters away from the cobbles in the middle of the pedestrianised precinct - even though the cars aren’t meant to be driving along there.
“They have really limited me to the number of gazebos I can put up unfortunately.
“It isn’t going to be the market I had originally envisaged but I am still going full steam ahead and there is still a good buzz about it.
“At least I will have a good run in front of the former Marks and Spencer and BHS units, so it will make that part of the High Street look nicer.”
Louise has a waiting list of stallholders and looking ahead, she is intending to go for a full road closure in either the late spring or summer next year to include them all.
She continued: “I am not making a lot of money from this but what I want to do is to change the attitude towards the High Street and to drive people onto the town centre and therefore into my shop.
“The market is compact and bijou but it is serving a massive purpose down here.”
Louise is also encouraging businesses in the High Street to set up stalls outside their premises to be part of the market and it won’t cost them anything - as long as they are set up within the agreed parameters.