Dunfermline Area Local Community Plan

Mon 1 Apr 19

Below is the Dunfermline Vision Paper.

Our vision

We want the Dunfermline area to be a place that respects and promotes its rich heritage, but also looks towards the future. We want to promote and raise awareness of our assets and facilities among both residents and visitors, making Dunfermline a place that both attracts visitors and is seen as an attractive place to live and work. We want communities within Dunfermline to feel empowered and valued, feeling that they have the ability to bring about change in their area.  


What puts us on the map? 

  • Dunfermline is in a fantastic central location, easily accessible from Edinburgh and main transport routes. The town’s heritage is an important and unique asset, with links to ancient Scotland and Andrew Carnegie commanding international attention. Dunfermline’s varied cultural offering includes a choice of theatres, a vibrant night-time economy, and well-equipped sporting facilities. Outstanding greenspace and parks provide a base for sport, outdoor events and family activities.

What existing assets and opportunities could be built upon? 

  • Dunfermline’s attractive greenspace is a huge draw, and it is therefore important that parks and related facilities are well maintained and used as the base for outdoor activities and events across all ages.
  • Continued work on the rejuvenation of the town centre will transform it into a 21st Century Hub, redeveloping old buildings and providing retail, cultural and accommodation options.
  • Transport and connectivity should be improved to better link up the different parts of the town. Cross-town bus connections would help link the Halbeath Park & Ride and prevent residents on the edge of town shopping elsewhere, while improved public transport at night would help strengthen the night-time economy.
  • Existing attractions should be maintained and promoted to their full potential, capturing the attention of visitors but also engaging locals who may not be aware of what is on their doorstep.


What major future challenges do we need to address?

  • The future of the town centre is a significant issue, with accessibility seen as one challenge. Access by rail, pedestrian and traffic route signage and car parking are all perceived as areas which could do with improvement.  Other challenges faced by Dunfermline town centre, in line with many other communities across the country include vacant shops and the changing face of retail.
  • Demography and community integration pose a challenge, with related pressure on infrastructure. Continued growth of area population may lead to pressure on housing, schools and GPs, and create challenges in keeping these communities integrated with Dunfermline. 
  • Affordable and appropriate housing options present a challenge, particularly around social isolation and suitable facilities for ageing residents living alone.

What would we be proudest to achieve in years to come? 

  • A thriving town centre that is welcoming to all, age-friendly and easily accessible. That the retail offer is supplemented by accommodation, culture and events, creating a vibrant centre.
  • That communities are strengthened and supported, involved in shaping the future of their town.
  • That inequality gaps between communities are reduced, with the development of new employment opportunities and local initiatives fully supported.  

What do we want our children’s future to look and feel like?

  • Education and opportunity are key in ensuring that all children get the best start in life and are supported in their chosen pathway. This will involve a range of routes, including apprenticeships, education and employment opportunities.
  • Dunfermline should feel attractive to young people, both for facilities when they are younger, and also as a place that they will want to stay in or return to with their own families. Clubs and facilities, transport links and opportunities for personal growth will all be important.
  • It is important to ensure that education and training is properly synced up with employment opportunities and emerging industries, preparing young people for future employment areas.

What do we want visitors returning to the area in the future to say?

  • That there is a vibrant, attractive and distinctive Town Centre offering, with lots to see and do. That the High Street and surrounding areas offer places to stay, shop and eat, as well as cultural and educational opportunities.
  • That Dunfermline is an amazing cultural hub, with living history and a real sense of heritage. That the stories from the town’s past are living history, helping to build the picture and character of Dunfermline.
  • Dunfermline is vibrant and seen as up and coming. There is a sense of investment and positive direction, with welcoming locals helping to encourage visitors back again.

How will we help people to feel emotionally connected to the plan?

  • Promotion of the plan by taking it out to local people and local communities is key. A strong emotional connection already exists with some groups, but any promotion should extend beyond those already engaged. This will involve using existing structures such as community councils, but also taking the plan to the people – in venues such as playgroups, schools and shops, and through social media.
  • An emotional connection can be strengthened by highlighting the benefits of the plan to locals, outlining its potential to change the community and improve their lives. Case Study examples – illustrations of how it will affect someone’s life on a day-to-day basis – will be important in creating buy in. 

How are the community involved in this plan?

  • Charrettes and consultations will be important, following the example of the Design Dunfermline model. It will be important to involve residents from throughout Dunfermline, avoiding the perception of a town centre focus. This may involve road shows, taking the plan to the people.
  • It will be important to provide incentives for involvement and to sustain buy-in by providing regular updates, avoiding the perception that people’s views are not being heard.
  • Obtaining true community involvement will require attracting a wide range of age groups and avoiding simply capturing the usual voices. An inclusive plan will require involvement from schools and young people, as well as people from other age groups and walks of life.



Our aspirations



Opportunities for All



The area would benefit from becoming a more family-friendly environment, where children can make the most of the opportunities available, for example, by creating more child friendly play areas, more breastfeeding areas, changing places and toilets in parks and public spaces, and more smoke free and pedestrianised areas, where walking and cycling become more prominent. Greater emphasis should be placed on providing support for children, young people and family-centred activities that provide the best start in life, and also continues that support as they progress through their various stages of development.


Older people and those with disabilities will continue to increase in the area, and initiatives that seek to improve their quality of life will help provide greater opportunities for their enjoyment and participation in the area. These include moves to become an age friendly, dementia friendly and mobility friendly city area, where it is easy for people to get around, through greater use of regular seated areas, and easier access to mobility aids and support for older people.


Tackling inequalities of opportunity and anti –poverty initiatives has been the focus of the Dunfermline Poverty Alliance group. Inequality gaps between communities, targeting resources and supporting new employment and training opportunities are being addressed by this wide ranging partnership





Thriving Places



The area has a number of high quality green spaces and good environmental amenities that it needs to build on and promote to increase participation in sports and other leisure activities.


The area also has an abundance of heritage and historical and cultural potential that could be maximised, that would further enhance the image of an attractive and thriving place.


Stronger and safer communities is a key priority for the area, and covers all aspects of making people feel safe and secure, including, road and pedestrian safety, youth crime and disorder, and ensuring a safe zone for people to enjoy the increasing development of the night-time economy in the area.


Building on the connectivity that already exists in the area, for both transport and online, will help to ensure that the area continues to be a thriving place that people choose to live, work and visit, particularly strengthening links connecting the Dunfermline Eastern expansion with the town centre area.


There is a need to make more of the potential for regeneration of the town centre and other areas to make them more places that people want to live in, such as re-purposing historical commercial and retail premises into living accommodation for all age groups.




Inclusive Growth and Jobs


As the way in which people shop changes to more online, the town centre and other traditional retail areas need to reinvent themselves to attract more independent, social enterprise, and cottage industry type businesses. This needs greater support and encouragement in entrepreneurship from the Community Planning partner organisations, from more focused business advice, lower business rates, and better access to start-up and other suitable premises, and greater co-operation and ongoing support from schools/colleges and other training providers.


There is great tourism potential to harness the area’s unique heritage, with its many historical and cultural examples, that could translate into local, inclusive and sustainable investment and jobs. This will require substantial long-term investment if it is to match the expectations of today’s tourists and visitors, and a joined-up approach from Community Planning partners, local communities and the business community. It will involve creative promotion and marketing, improvement in the buildings and facilities on offer, transport links, parking and traffic management, and the ease, access and cost of attractions and ‘things to see’ on offer.


The area is fortunate in its strategic location, with its close proximity to Edinburgh and Scotland’s central belt, and is able to demonstrate success in attracting large inward investment, and hosting many large scale businesses and major employers. To ensure this success continues, the area needs to increase its employability and skills base, and build on the work and support provided by the Employability Academies, and the Digital Skills and Employability Team Projects.





Community Led Services


The area can draw on its many good examples of community spirit and active citizenship, through the ongoing work around gala days and festivals, its support provided by the voluntary sector, and the many ways in which local people get involved in community projects. This needs to be built upon and developed, so that it is easy for more people to volunteer in their community, for community council involvement to increase, and that people feel empowered to pursue activities that enhance their local area, but that also provide a sense of accomplishment and community pride.


As many public sector services continue to experience funding challenges, community Planning Partner organisations need to collaborate more with local community groups and individuals, and to be seen as a source of encouragement, assistance and support for local groups that want to take on more of a role in providing community-led services.


As community services evolve in the area, and different delivery methods are introduced, the need for continual dialogue with local community groups becomes more important, and ongoing consultation and participation activities need to be maintained to ensure that local people feel involved, and that service changes continue to meet their needs.






  • dunfermline_area_our_vision.pdf (155 kB)

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