Fife marks World Town Planning Day as Glenrothes approaches 70
World Town Planning Day celebrates the achievements and skills of planners in their role of helping to create more sustainable communities and places. The day celebrates the work that planners do to help local residents, businesses and communities create the kinds of places we, and future generations want to live, work and socialise in.
Fife Council is also now gearing up to mark the 70th anniversary of Glenrothes, one of its best known ‘new towns’, and the town’s distinctive landscape.
This is also the year that Fife Council adopted its first Local Development Plan.
Pam Ewen, Fife Council’s senior manager, planning, said: “Across the world, the Planning profession is being recognised today for the good work that Planners and Planning has done to shape our environment. Scotland’s New Towns are a success of Planning, and here in Glenrothes, Fife, continues to develop strong communities.
“We’re pleased to be marking World Town Planning Day. Fife is a diverse region, and the planners are involved in the management and development of our towns, villages and the countryside.”
Throughout its development, town planners have been integral to the growth, regeneration and sustainability of Glenrothes. Located in the heartland of Fife, Glenrothes has continually evolved with changing industry demands and the future of this new town is promising, with ambitious, exciting plans in the pipeline.
As a new town, Glenrothes is easy to find your way around and it has an abundance of green space and interesting town art.
The making of Glenrothes
In 1948 Fife’s main industry was coal mining and Glenrothes was one of a number of new towns then being established across Scotland. Glenrothes was initially planned to provide homes, employment and facilities for around 35,000 people, and built largely on low-rise garden town principles. Early settlement and development was largely associated with the Rothes ‘super colliery’ being established.
Changing face of industry
Although the growth of Glenrothes suffered as a result of the demise of the mining industry in Fife, soon more varied jobs came to Glenrothes. And with the new jobs came schools, colleges, homes, and all the services needed by an ever growing population.
Glenrothes became an innovative hub for electronics manufacturing and was a key location in Silicon Glen with businesses such as Hughes Aircraft, Elliot Automation, General Instruments and Compugraphics setting up in the town.
Today, Glenrothes is again reinventing itself
Ambitious redevelopment underway
A £10 million injection of investment is set transforming the town centre landscape, which will be completed by late 2018. The development will include a Marks & Spencer and Tony Macaroni eatery to boost the town centre offering. This is the largest town centre investment in Fife in over 20 years, and benefits local people, communities and businesses.
Queensway Technology and Business Park
Using existing employment land and demolishing redundant property Queensway Industrial Estate has been refocused into Queensway Technology and Business Park. The regeneration of this site has led to a £42 million private sector investment and will potentially create 50 high value and highly skilled jobs.
Enterprise Hub Fife
The new Enterprise Hub Fife, which opened in March this year, is also booting business in the town. Located on the first floor of the Royal Bank of Scotland’s premises in the town centre, it offers a ‘one-stop shop’ to provide enterprise and business services to entrepreneurs and business start-ups. It offers hot desk space that is affordable and flexible to small businesses, with high speed broadband and IT connectivity.
One of the town’s most ambitious projects is the transfer of energy from the RWE’s Biomass-Fuelled Power Station to provide hot water and heating for local businesses, community facilities, council offices and homes in the centre of Glenrothes by 2018. The Scottish Government has awarded £8.5 million from its Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme to the project, part of the Government’s Scottish Energy Strategy, to deliver around 50 per cent of the energy required for Scotland’s heat, transport and electricity needs from renewable sources by 2030.
The focus of the town today is the Kingdom Centre. The first phase of this appeared in 1960. A series of extensions have since taken place, producing the vast indoor shopping centre you find today. There are more exciting development plans for the town centre, which will see a new Marks & Spencers and a Tony Macaroni eatery coming soon. There will also be a further £300,000 investment to run alongside the development, introducing road calming and public art to connect the new developments with the Kingdom Centre.