CuparNow – 2022 Annual Report

2022 was Scotland’s ‘Year of Stories’ – and we have some story to tell in our third Annual Report: the launch of seven food and drink trails centred on Cupar, the airing of a TV commercial that was seen by more than 330,000 people through the summer … ending 2022 with a Christmas Card delivered to thousands of local homes to promote the town’s Cosy Spaces this winter.

All of our work has continued to grow an engaged digital audience that now tops 80,000 across all the channels we manage.

This annual report has a brief ‘background‘ as an introduction together with a section on ‘Our Channels & Audiences‘ that explains the digital channels we manage between 0800-2200, 365 days of the year. It then runs through what has been delivered against our ‘hub and spoke’ model using the same headings:

  • Levy payers – the work we deliver to support more than 400 businesses across Cupar whose contributions to CuparNow enable:
    • Community Partners – our work with more than 90 organisations to help raise awareness of all that Cupar has to offer
    • Culture & Tourism – our initiatives to promote Cupar to visitors at home and abroad
    • Education & Training – engagement with the town’s education and training providers
    • Environment – working with partners to make more aware of local projects and initiatives, improving the environment for all
    • Health & Social Care – sharing news, events and information to help support those in need
    • Economic Development – collaborative work to support the local economy that drives wider economic benefits
  • Financial Statement – breaking down what has been spent through 2022
  • Conclusion – and outline of the year ahead


CuparNow is the UK and Scotland’s only digital improvement district. Destination Digital, the company delivering CuparNow, were appointed by the Scottish Government as consultants to research and report findings on the Digital Towns Programme 2017-18. More than 20 towns across Scotland fed into that programme – including Cupar – all asking how their towns could make the best use of digital to support multiple audiences: residents and visitors, businesses, community groups, culture & tourism bodies, education & training providers, environmental projects as well as health & social care support.

Based on the feedback from all, we proposed a hub & spoke model where all audiences would be supported through managed, integrated digital and communication and services. The crunch question was over funding as all traditional streams were short term – most for a 12 months project and no sustainable longevity. Having worked in destination marketing – with towns and cities across the UK – we recommended the ‘improvement district’ mechanism for funding whereby, if businesses backed the initiative with a majority of those voting (by number and scale), it would create a five year term to deliver all elements requested with an annual levy to be paid by all businesses and organisations whose properties have a non-domestic rateable value.

The Scottish Government accepted our recommendations and asked for a demonstration town to prove the concept: Cupar was selected for two key reasons:

  • firstly, the town’s Business Association had been strong advocates for digital support and;
  • secondly, it is a typical market town with many similarities to other destinations of a similar size across Scotland.

The project won seed corn funding to run a 16-month demonstration phase. A Steering Group of local business owners and managers – together with elected and officer representation from the local authority – oversaw and agreed to the Business Plan that was put to the ballot. The ballot was successful in creating the first Digital Improvement District, CuparNow, and we are now entering our fourth year of operation. You can read our previous Annual Report via these links: 2020-2021 and 2021-2022.


Our Channels & Audiences

The key to the success of CuparNow has been the management of integrated digital channels to share content from the town – its businesses, community groups, culture & tourism bodies, education & training providers, environmental projects as well as health & social care support.

The CuparNow Blog – this is the foundation of our digital delivery. In the last year, it has attracted more than 30,000 new users from across 94 countries. Of course, the vast majority are close to home – with more than 50% living within an hour’s drive time of Cupar. In total, the Blog has over 70,000 readers. The site includes categorised listings covering more than 400 businesses across Cupar – from shopping and services to the town’s 40+ food & drink outlets. We publish regular updates with profiles on businesses and community groups as well as previews and reviews of some key events in the town. The Blog also includes a Calendar showcasing upcoming events and activities and this includes the opportunity for all to load their own to be shared on our Blog and channels.  In addition – and growing more popular – is the site’s Job section, promoting available part-time, full-time and work experience opportunities in and around Cupar. Again, we provide the opportunity for all to load their own requirements that are then shared on our channels to reach a wider audience.

Meta Channels – Facebook and Instagram run in tandem as both are owned by Meta:

  • Facebook – our Facebook following continues to grow: our followers act as advocates, sharing the content we are creating with their family, friends and colleagues to help amplify Cupar’s messaging. In the last year, our reach through the channel has been over 160,000, a 21% increase on the previous year. We now have more than 6,700 followers on Facebook and almost 50% of these live in Cupar. That means – as a percentage of the town’s population – 35% of those living in Cupar follow our page. It is a great way for all businesses to ensure their messaging is reaching as wide an audience as possible and, as a result of the businesses’ support, we are able to extend this opportunity to community groups.
  • Instagram – similarly, our Instagram following continues to grow. We now have more than 1,400 followers and their interaction with the content we create and share has driven reach to over 20,000 in 2022 – a 120% increase on the previous 12 months.

Support Channels

  • Twitter – we share content from time to time via Twitter; it is less used than the Meta channels and far fewer businesses in Cupar have Twitter accounts than Facebook and Instagram. That said, the channel allows us to share content from those using Twitter and we have grown the following in the last year.
  • YouTube – we are using YouTube to host videos that help to showcase Cupar. Subscriber numbers are small but have grown in 12 months. The videos hosted have been viewed more than 5,000 times through 2022, clocking more than 110 hours of ‘watch time’.
  • LinkedIn Local – we use this as a B2B channel to those who choose to subscribe.
  • TikTok – a small but growing following and, crucially, allowing us to engage with a younger audience.

The CuparNow Podcast – we have added episodes to our podcast throughout 2022. The podcast is open to businesses and community groups to feature and all interested can submit information via our online questionnaire.

Our Databases

At the outset of this project, we have been mindful of the need to engage with and support multi-generational audiences. A number of the social channels do not report data on audiences that are Under 18, so the following does not show a true representation, but – using the data we can research and report – we are very happy to be able to show that our delivery engages with audiences across every age group … and with significant numbers in each.

Any business – whatever sector they are in – is able to use our channels to reach and engage with these age groups ongoing, whether for sales of products and services or for recruitment.


Levy Payers

CuparNow would not exist without the annual contributions from more than 400 businesses in the town – levy-payers whose contributions enable us to deliver all our work. The vast majority pay £100 per annum – the remainder paying 1% of their property’s non-domestic rateable value. This is capped with the highest contribution being £2,000.00.

All the work we deliver is overseen by the CuparNow steering group – made up of business owners and managers in the town together with representatives from Bell Baxter High School and Fife Council (one elected member and one officer). Andrew Thomson of Southbridge Garage, is the Group’s Chair, and he has written an open letter – updated ongoing – that is shared with all new businesses arriving in town as well as with any business raising questions over the project and its support.

Supporting the letter is an nine-page document that details CuparNow’s key achievements together with a breakdown on ‘how your levy is spent‘ – from the daily management of digital channels, the delivery of free public-realm Wi-Fi and the project’s data capture & management to the monitoring, analytics and reporting as well as the managed community fund.

We are happy to share the same here: simply click on the following to read …

First and foremost, CuparNow exists to support the town’s businesses. Without their support, we would not be able to deliver any of the services provided. Our categorised business listings carry the details of the 400+ businesses and organisations whose annual levy payments enable our delivery. We have four main categories – each splitting into sub-categories to help visitors to the site find more. For some businesses, our listings are their only promoted digital presence …


We have also introduced QR codes that are being shared on materials to help drive traffic to the same. In a world where all are increasingly familiar with the concept of scanning codes to access information, we know this is a route that will only help to support our audiences and benefit the businesses and organisations that are linked:

Day by day, we are collating, gathering, creating and sharing content. Our Meta channels (Facebook & Instagram) are used most due to their scale and flexibility to promote content. We share content every single day. Below is a ‘one day’ example that shows posts published on our Meta channels … a mix of content created to cover retail, events and activities in a geographic spread across the town. It illustrates how content is planned and scheduled at different times (between 0700-2000) to interact with different audiences. Our audiences’ reaction and engagement – as advocates for CuparNow – helps to drive the reach. For info, ‘engagement’ on Instagram is not reported through Meta’s Business Suite.

This is one day’s delivery on two channels: the same approach is delivered 365 days of the year – including representation on other channels as listed – to help promote the town’s offering and to meet and exceed the expectations of our growing audiences.

Businesses – by category and area – are divided into weeks, so that we can give a fair representation throughout the year. Roughly, this means every business will receive coverage in one form or another on our channels at least seven times in the year.

A key driver of this is our ambassador visits. We visit consumer-facing businesses to capture content that helps to tell the business’ story – latest products or offers – that we then share with our audiences. Openly, we say that those who engage the most with us will receive the best level of support and return on their investment – the messaging being of mutual benefit in enhancing audience growth, interaction and reach. All of our content is anchored to our Blog where we share business profiles, breaking news, events and more. It is important to stress that any contributing business is able to contact us at any time to request support – and many do so.

In 2021, as part of our ‘by business, for business‘ delivery, we forged a new partnership with ABCD – the Association of Businesses in Cupar & Distict – and that has continued throughout 2022 and into 2023. All levy-paying businesses are automatically members of ABCD. Any business who does not wish to be a member of ABCD under this new arrangement can simply request not to be included. We liaise closely with the Association – and other partners – to discuss and share information on business issues and to deliver initiatives that benefit businesses and the wider community. The following are all included in our work and are ‘over and above’ the day to day support delivered through our social channels:

  • Food & Drink Trails – working with Cupar Development Trust, we launched a series of food & drink trails at the end of 2021; these were boosted through 2022 to correspond with The Open’s return to St Andrews. Thousands have used the site to search for and find local food & drink businesses. More will be done to support this initiative in 2023 and we are delighted to see a growing interest in the area’s provenance – including the recently broadcast Hairy Bikers’ Go Local episode featuring their travels around Fife. Click below for more.

  • Town Guide Map – we designed, printed and are distributing 20,000 guide maps across the town; they include trackable QR codes so we can share more information direct with users, allowing us to evaluate their usage ongoing. They include the town’s Heritage Trail. In 2023, we will be working with Tourism partners to help make more aware of the town’s attractions and offering.
  • Poster Sites – we created poster for sites across the town where we share QR codes that enable people to access information on eating out, shopping as well as the town’s huge array of services.
  • Surveys, Questionnaires & Petitions – we have helped ABCD to share surveys on business performance as well as to request feedback on the plans for Cupar North, the proposed development for more than 1,400 homes around the northern fringe of the town. We have helped other community partners to share surveys to aid their projects’ planning – as well as helping a local charity with an online petition.
  • TV Campaign – again, in partnership with Cupar Development Trust, we filmed and broadcast a 30-second commercial that was viewed by more than 330,000 in 2022. Our work ensured we were able to access matched funding for the airtime.
  • My Kind of Town – we worked with BBC Scotland and multiple local partners to help with the filming of an episode of ‘My Kind of Town’ that will showcase Cupar when broadcast in February 2023. One of the reasons the BBC chose Cupar is because it is home to CuparNow – Scotland’s only Digital Improvement District.
  • Cupar’s Warm Spaces – mindful of rising energy costs, we collaborated with local organisations to create a menu of ‘warm spaces’; this listing is maintained online but was also shared via a Christmas card delivered to thousands of homes across the town in the countdown to Christmas.


Community Partners

We are proud to have researched and created a unique online community directory that now features 90 associations, clubs, groups, organisations, societies and more. We also have a trackable QR code that links with the Directory, enabling all to share with a wider audience. You can discover more by clicking on the image below.

If your organisation does not feature, please get in touch so we can add you.

Below are just some of the community groups with whom we have worked and have helped to support through 2022 …

Throughout 2022, we have continued our work a forum of organisations – steered by Cupar Development Trust – to showcase the town. The forum cane into being at the end of lockdowns to bring together like-minded organisations wanting to collaborate over a return to live events and activities. Increasingly, it now includes groups and organisations covering not only the town but also much of the town’s catchment.

Th collaboration helped to deliver Cupar’s second Celebration Weekend in September. Those involved in the weekend then called a face-to-face gathering of more than 30 community groups to look at 2023. You can read more on that by clicking on the image below …

As we approached 2022, we started plans for the town to become part of Scotland’s Year of Stories and launched Cupar’s Year of Stories with a digital version of the town’s heritage trail, working with the help and support of the town’s Museum & Heritage Centre. We have been delighted to help feature all manner of stories from across our community throughout the year; you can discover more by clicking on the image below …

We are going to retain this feature and add to it ongoing. If you have a story to share on Cupar, you can use this link to make a submission. Similarly, in support of our community, we continue to promote our online calendar where all are able to submit local events. Once received, we can then share on our channels with our audiences.

Once again, we were pleased to be able to help promote the town’s Community Council’s Citizens of The Year awards as well as to continue with our support for Cupar Development Trust’s talks and annual lecture.

In addition to the day to day messaging that helps to make our audiences aware of Cupar & District’s community activities, we also manage a small Community Fund to give direct financial support to groups and organisations. If you run a community group and need support, please get in touch. We can’t promise to help, but we will do all we can to do so, or to share with those who might be able to offer assistance – just use this link to email us.

Throughout 2022, we sponsored market stalls for local groups, charities and societies to enable them to help raise funds, awareness and their profiles in Cupar. So successful was the project that we are doubling our efforts in 2023, sponsoring two stalls for community use and benefit through the year. If you run a community group and would like to be involved in this year’s initiative, please click on the image below and follow the link to register.

Finally on this section, we’d like to thank all those who have provided us with testimonials for our support work this year. It means a great deal. You can read more by clicking below …


Culture & Tourism

There are numerous partners in and around Cupar who come under a ‘Cultural’ banner and we work closely with many as detailed above.

Culture – especially the town’s ‘history & heritage’ – features in a great deal of what we create and share when promoting the town as it is such an integral part of Cupar’s offering. As mentioned, we worked in partnership with the town’s Development Trust to win matched funding for a TV campaign that ran on STV through the summer.

Seen by more than 330,000 people, the campaign also won additional coverage from STV who – impressed by its quality – ran it on their STV Player across Scotland, broadening our reach over a longer period than the agreed campaign. You can click on the image below to read more and view the commercial that invited all to “spend a day in Cupar and Country” …

We have promoted events throughout the year – one of the largest being the Fife Show celebrating a very special anniversary. A storming success, it was wonderful to see such an iconic event return to the local calendar after a lockdown-enforced hiatus. Hats off to those who worked hard to make it happen. You can read more on their 200 years and the 2022 show via our Blog below …

In the summer, the town marked the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with an amazing event in the Haugh Park; it welcomed visitors from far and wide to enjoy a whole range of entertainment and celebrations. Read more below …

And come the autumn, the town’s Celebration Weekend and Gathering of Societies returned … albeit with a civic commemoration added to mark the death of the Queen …

When we know events are being run, we do our best to help promote them on our channels; as detailed, we continue to promote our calendar where anyone locally can submit events to be shared. The vast majority of our audience is local, but we are able to spread the word far and wide, using our followers as advocates. The maps below shows the home locations of our Blog readers: a substantial number are within an hour’s drive time of Cupar. Considering our potential to help promote – using Google’s Analytics – we can demonstrate that we have readers of our Blog in every time zone around the world. We are spreading the word far and wide.

As touched on above, we manage a number of database. One of these is more than 1,800 ‘subscribers’, the vast majority of whom have signed-up to receive regular updates having used our free Wi-Fi delivered in Cupar town centre’s public realm areas.

And free WiFi is a great facility to deliver for those visiting Cupar; below shows that the network has had more than 11,000 visits during the last 12 months …

And the maps below show the home locations of those visitors …

We are working on plans to extend the Wi-Fi to cover larger areas of the town’s public realm and hope to publish more on this soon.

If you are reading this and would like to subscribe to our regular e-shot updates, please click on the following and complete the details. Once submitted, you will be added.

Through 2021, we worked in partnership with Cupar Development Trust – with some funding support from the Regional Food Fund – to make Cupar the centre of a series of new Food & Drink Trails. Each starts and finishes in Cupar, ensuring we’re helping to drive visitor numbers and interaction to the benefit of the town.

In 2022, we invested to continue this initiative – designing, printing and distributing 5,000 guides, each including QR codes to help users find more information. Those guides were delivered to outlets across Cupar and north east Fife in the countdown to The Open, capitalising on the return of visitors to our area in the summer. If you run a food or drink business in or around Cupar and would like more information, just click on this link to complete our Food & Drink Trail Questionnaire and we will be back in touch. You can discover more on the TRails by clicking on the image below …

Again, in support of tourism, we have continued to distribute the 20,000 copies of our free Town Guide & Maps. All include trackable QR codes to help visitors find more on the town’s businesses – shopping, food & drink, services, accommodation and community groups.You can click on the map below to open an online version …

Towards the end of 2022, we met with Tourism groups including Fife Tourism and the Local Tourism Association; as a result, in March of 2023, we are hosting a ‘familiarisation day’ where tourism partners will invite their members to the town for a presentation on what Cupar has to offer to their guests and customers.

This will build on the work we have undertaken with Cupar Development Trust and will also use learnings from the Trust’s annual lecture. Delivered by Professor Murray Pittock, Vice-Principal of Special Projects at the University of Glasgow, the lecture was titled ‘Culture, Tourism & The Economy‘. He stressed the importance and economic value of harnessing and promoting Cupar’s unique heritage in any tourist offering.

You can watch the lecture on our YouTube channel by clicking on the image below …

We hope the familiarisation event will be the first in a series to better engage with accommodation providers and tourism-related businesses and attractions across the town’s catchment. If you are involved in a tourism-focused business, please read more via our Blog.


Education & Training

Since we started CuparNow, we have helped to share content from all of the town’s education and training providers – from pre-school provision to further education as well as those involved in delivering additional support.

Building on our work with Bell Baxter High School (they have a seat on our steering group) we continued with support for their Wellbeing Garden Project, helping them to raise awareness, donations and equipment. You can read more by clicking on the image below …

Our ongoing work with the high school also led us to holding a Business Breakfast in partnership with ABCD, the town’s Business Association, together with DYW Fife (Developing the Young Workforce) and Fife Chamber. You can read more via this link. Our connections with Bell Baxter continue to strengthen and we will be sharing more content that features pupils’ work and projects into 2023 and beyond.

In the summer, we worked with Nurture Steps, a charity that relocated to Cupar. We featured them and their work in a Blog that announced their arrival at their new HQ at Westport Business Centre in Cupar. The charity works with families of children (aged 0-5) who are seeking an assessment of social communication or interaction difficulties, or who already have a diagnosis of a social communication disorder such as Autism. You can read more by clicking below …

In support of the Platinum Jubilee Picnic in The Park, we created commemorative certificates for those attending as keepsakes – especially designed as souvenirs for youngsters. The Lord Lieutenant of Fife, Robert Balfour, as representative of HM The Queen, gave a short speech before handing out badges and certificates to Brownies, Scouts and Rainbows. As part the ongoing celebrations of the role played by Cupar in the annals of the Old Scots Language, Guthrie Hutton of Cupar’s Museum & Heritage Centre and a trustee of the SCIO, Three Estates Cupar, read the proclamation by ‘Scotland’s Shakespeare’, Sir David Lyndsay, echoing what residents would have heard across the town some 470 years before – almost to the day – calling for people of gather for the first performance of Scotland’s oldest play, Ane Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis. Since the event, we recorded Guthrie reading the proclamation and you can hear it via our Podcast by clicking on the image below …

When the Celebration Weekend returned to Cupar in September, we repeated the certificate idea – creating commemorative keepsakes, especially for all of the children who took part in events and activities. We were delighted when, later in the year, a ‘re-incarnated’ Sir David Lyndsay, paid a visit to Kilmaron School and handed out the same to pupils as a thank you for the part they’d played …

On the training front, we continue to offer advice and support to those businesses and organisations who ask for it on digital communication and best use of social media. If you run a business or organisation in town and require help and advice on your digital needs, please send us an email via this link with your questions or outline plans and we will be back in touch to set up a 1-2-1 meeting.



Wherever we can, we support environmental initiatives in the town: this has covered engagement with numerous partners and stakeholders throughout 2022 – including supporting some who took advantage of our sponsored stalls at the Fife Farmers’ Market, including Sustainable Cupar.

Perhaps the biggest role we play to help support Cupar’s environment is our promotion of all things ‘local’. The core of CuparNow is to promote the town’s businesses. Much has been written about ‘20 minute neighbourhoods‘. The very nature of our work is to push the #ThinkLocal message – to share with our growing audience that, whatever they need, they will find it in Cupar: food & drink, shopping, services – it is all available.

The original thinking behind ‘20 minute neighbourhoods‘ was for that ’20 minutes’ to be on foot or by bike. Even expanding that to include Public Transport is not a reality for Cupar and its catchment.

In early 2022, we invited students from Dundee University to the town. There were a dozen students and over a period of seven weeks they worked on ‘Cupar Concepts’ creating five thematic ideas on the future of the market town. Their themes covered:

  • Transport & Connectivity
  • Wellbeing & Accessibility
  • Tourism
  • Sustainability and
  • Heritage & Fabric

Later in 2022, the University shared their report and we are now engaging with relevant community partners including the town’s Development Trust to see how the students’ thinking might be used to the benefit of the town.

What is clear is that much of what 21st century students have picked up is Cupar’s strategic place as a crossroads on lines of communication. This builds on centuries of environmental heritage that sees Cupar’s present day ‘catchment’ almost exactly mirroring what was a medieval ‘liberty’ where all produce made or grown in the area had to be sold in Cupar’s markets.

The map below shows Cupar’s catchment including almost 60 local villages with the medieval liberty illustrated with a red-dotted boundary.

The work undertaken in the last three years to build an engaged audience who now act as advocates – sharing our ‘think local’ messaging with friends, family and colleagues – is helping to define, shape and support Cupar’s ’20 minute neighbourhood’


Health & Social Care

Our delivery has a social benefit – enabling residents and visitors to find information on the town’s offering and encouraging all to share the same. We work to support health and social care partnerships throughout the year. Much is shared day-to-day via our social media channels to publicise the work of, among others, Cupar Food Bank, the Community Fridge, Cupar Y and the Cupar Youth Cafe, NHS Fife, our local churches and charities.

Our Blog enables us to share bigger stories and the following is just a selection of features published through the last year in support of projects that are highlighting health and social care issues, events, activities and services …

Many organisations involved in the above are listed in our Community Directory and we know hundreds use this as a ‘go to’ resource to discover more that is available at a local level.

As touched on above, perhaps the most significant project we have supported in the health and social care sector has been the creation of a ‘Warm Winter Space’ listing that sits on our Blog and provides all with details of those spaces that are open, free and providing a warm welcome to those in our community most in need of such support at this time. You can click on the image below to read more.

Economic Development

All of our work combines to help support the economic development and sustainability of the town and its catchment.  As we always emphasise, our most important task is to support businesses – those who contribute an annual levy to help us deliver all of our work: the businesses are the lifeblood of the town – driving investment, employment and training opportunities. Those who engage with us receive the best return on their investment and involvement.

Everything changes in business: two of the town’s longest running establishments have closed this year. We shared the news on Ostlers: after more than forty years, husband and wife team, Jimmy and Amanda Graham, are looking to pass the baton on to someone new and are selling the multi-award-winning eatery. And we also helped Eric Young in the countdown to the closure of Thomas Young Jewellers. We will catch up with Eric soon to share more on his re-opening of a dedicated clock business. In the same breath, Cupar welcomed new businesses to the town – and that has helped to drive a reduction in vacant units through 2022.

In the latest data (published by Experian GOAD and included in Fife Council’s Local Area Economic Profiles 2021-22) Cupar is outperforming every other location in Fife with the largest percentage drop over the last three years.

Jim Hair, Chair of ABCD, the town’s business association, says: “National vacancy rates are still around the 15% mark. In Scotland, they are slightly higher. Cupar has reduced vacant units from 18.2% in 2019 to 8.6% in 2022 … more than a 50% drop. That sends a very positive message to all businesses and especially to those looking to invest in our vibrant 21st century market town.”

Chair of the town’s Development Trust, Bill Pagan, echoes the Business Association line, adding: “This is not by chance. Cupar will shortly feature on the BBC programme ‘My Kind of Town’ and one of the reasons we were chosen as a destination to feature on the series is because we are home to Scotland’s only digital improvement district, CuparNow, whose various platforms show the town’s active community and vibrant businesses.”

The digital improvement district was created in 2018 as a demonstration project and was formally launched in 2019. Bill adds: “A critical part of the CuparNow’s remit has been to show how managed, integrated digital communication and support services enable new, strategic collaborations and improve digital participation and skills. There can be no doubt CuparNow has delivered on these fronts and the day-to-day engagement with their 80,000-strong digital audience is helping to deliver sustainable economic benefits.”

The latest data – published by Experian GOAD and included in Fife Council’s Local Area Economic Profiles 2021-22 – shows Cupar is outperforming every other location in Fife with the largest percentage drop over the last three years. Through the same period, nearby Anstruther, Glenrothes and St Andrews – together with Dunfermline and Inverkeithing – all saw the proportion of vacant units rise. Across the country, there has been a small decline in vacancy rates in the last year, yet Cupar is believed to have delivered the biggest drop of any town in Scotland, if not the UK.

Local councillor, Margaret Kennedy, who sits on the CuparNow steering group, adds: “Throughout the last three years, including all lockdowns and their resulting restrictions, CuparNow’s services were delivered day by day – uninterrupted. Although we remain in very uncertain times, it is clear CuparNow’s daily support for the town’s businesses and wider community is delivering a very positive impact.”

We have a five-year term to deliver what we promised from the outset. Three years in, we are creating and supporting strategic collaborations that are improving digital participation. More than 35% of the town’s population follows our Facebook page alone. The news on declining vacancy rates is very welcome and builds on other property-related successes including Cupar being listed as the most sought-after location for rural living in Scotland.


A date for the diary …

The BBC Scotland episode of ‘My Kind of Town’ featuring Cupar airs on Thursday 2nd February 2023. The images below were taken on the crew’s visit and show presenter, Ian Hamilton, with his trusty guide dog, Major, speaking with Byam Trotter at the Fife Farmers Market (left) and filming with Steven Wade of Woodmill Game, one of the stall holders (centre). On the right, Ian is pictured with Chloe Milne at Fisher & Donaldson – one of the many businesses he visited.

You can click on the image to listen to the podcast we recorded with Ian on his visit to Luvians …

And we were very happy to see Ian quoted on air recently as saying, of the towns in the latest series, Cupar was his favourite! Click on the image below to see what may have swayed him … a sweet treat as featured in our TV commercial!


Financial Statement

Our Year 3 (2022/23) financial breakdown is below: it shows the sums apportioned to the various service areas delivered. These are ‘annual spend’ in line with the project’s Business Plan and cover April 2022 until March 2023 in line with the current levy year.

We can report that £5,839.33 of the 2022/23 levy remains unpaid, albeit we expect this sum to be reduced as non-payment continues to be pursued.

For clarity: CuparNow is delivered by Destination Digital Ltd overseen by a steering group. Destination Digital Ltd has an operating agreement with Fife Council who invoice the Digital Improvement District annual levies; the Council’s Rates Team are responsible for the collection of payments as well as chasing of non-payment.

If at any time a business has a question regarding the levy, payment or the services provided by CuparNow, please use the contact information in the ‘need more’ section at the foot of this page. More information on the service breakdown and delivery can be found on the Steering Group Chair’s open letter.



We continue to deliver all as set out in the project’s initial Business Plan – and more.

As CuparNow has evolved, we have added new channels, taken on new initiatives and are now helping to support more businesses, organisations and community groups than ever. We have built an even larger, engaged digital audience who act as our advocates to spread the word on Cupar, in turn increasing the numbers of friends, family and colleagues who interact with our content at home and abroad.

Despite our very best efforts, some businesses remain opposed to our work and see no value in what we deliver. Working hand in hand with our Steering Group and multiple community partners and stakeholders, we will continue with our joint endeavours in a bid to win them over. Our door is always open to those who wish to meet.

Finally, we would like to thank all who support our work – and the town: in particular, we would like to express our thanks to the contributing businesses and organisations who pay their annual levy. Without that support, CuparNow and all the services we deliver would not exist.


Need more?

Any business or organisation in and around Cupar can contact us at any time through a variety of channels – our social media channels, by email or phone. Just call 01334 870858, leave your name, nature of your enquiry and a number where we can reach you and we will call you back. We can arrange face to face (where possible), meetings via Zoom or just a chat to see how we can help.

If you have any thoughts or ideas on how we might improve our service, please let us know. And if you’d like your name to be put forward to join our Steering Group, please drop us an email explaining who you are, the business/organisation you own/represent and why you’d like to be on the group.

Finally, if you run a business and want to be keep up to date on all we are delivering, please make sure you are following us on the pages and channels most relevant to you.

If you have any questions, simply click here to email us, and we’ll be back in touch as soon as possible.


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