Cupar Development Trust – Zoom update
All seven Board members of Cupar Development Trust attended the Trust’s meeting in June – via Zoom. Despite the lockdown, there was a length agenda which they have shared with us …
Individual Board members accept responsibility for the various projects and contacts.
- CDT’s first project, displayed to the folk of Cupar as long ago as 2016 during the Charrette in the Corn Exchange, is “Inner Court”, the proposals for redevelopment of the area behind Crossgate and Bonnygate, including the notorious gap site on Bonnygate. This remains an eyesore in the town despite the combined efforts of Fife Council, Cupar Heritage and CDT to have the camouflage hoarding installed. Des Montgomery updated the Board on the progress made by Kingdom Housing, who have now taken on Inner Court, and on discussions with the Council Planners and Historic Environment Scotland. The next major meeting about the project will take place in the coming week, as it is important to keep project momentum going.
- CDT’s second major project is Town Signage, and CDT Board are grateful to David Kirk for continuing with it, after his retiral from the Board last December.
- The Signage designs are based on a new digital Cupar Town Map and there will be seven Arrival and Interpretation Boards in strategic spots around town. It is hoped that all the necessary consents will be granted in the autumn, and that the seven Boards will be in place before the end of 2020. All the designs and their content have been discussed with
- Cupar Heritage, ABCD and Fife Council, and CDT will give Sustainable Cupar, CuparNow, and Cupar Community Council the chance to comment before the final instructions for fabrication are issued.
- During consultation with the people of Cupar as part of the Charette in 2016, CDT representatives were told that there was a lack of good signs for visitors arriving at the station or at the car parks, making it difficult to find the key parts of Cupar. Everyone, visitors especially, will benefit once the new signs are in place. The Signage is built on digital foundations, and the base map will be available for digital overlays showing different interests, the first being the town’s history and heritage. All the Boards will have QR Codes leading to relevant information and websites, and the information behind the QR Codes’ buttons will be updated. CDT’s Signage Project with its digital base has coincided with the welcome arrival of Cupar’s Digital Improvement District – “CuparNow” – which provides free WiFi in the town centre. CuparNow’s will be one of the websites available through the buttons.
- There will be a formal unveiling of the Boards on a suitable occasion, possibly in the build-up to Christmas 2020, by which time it is hoped the worst implications of Covid-19 and its public constraints will be reduced.
- As previously outlined, CDT Board plan a “Children’s Day in Old Scots”, and had this scheduled for autumn 2020. This would have been part of the Duncan Institute Library’s 150th celebrations, with new Display Cases, organised by Three Estates Cupar SCIO, being unveiled. The Cases will show off facsimiles of works by Cupar’s famous sixteenth century literary cousins – Sir David Lindsay and Robert Lindsay – and of the Cupar’s medieval burgh archive, now available thanks to the “Archives Revealed” project organised by St Andrews University Special Collections team. The intention now is to organise that entire Children’s Day event in the spring of 2021.
- CDT Board are investigating also better greening of the town, improved accesses over pavements and paths (which will be added to a digital overlay of the new Town Map) and monitoring Planning applications – with comment being made to Fife Council on strategic issues arising from these applications, such as impact on the Town Centre and on the visible amenity at the approaches to the town, so that its charm, and good initial impressions on visitors, can be maintained.
- A major task for all Board Members is to identify future, post-virus, objectives and purposes of CDT. Discussions will take place among groups of the Board, and this will be a major item at its next meeting.
- CDT’s 2020 AGM is planned for the first week of December as usual, with a guest speaker. Other events, probably joint with some of the town’s other organisations, are also being discussed. Details of CDT’s activities and planned events will be found on its website. CDT’s website is at present being revised and improved, with various Board Members assisting Members’ Secretary, Nicky Bond, with this important task, and with advice also from Simon Baldwin of CuparNow.
- The Board received reports from the Chair, Bill Pagan, on Scotland’s Towns Partnership and on the Development Trusts Association Scotland of both of which CDT is a member. Bill Pagan, who is a member of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross-Party Group on Scotland’s towns, reported that, because of the lockdown, that the Group had not met since the previous meeting of the Board.
The CDT Board will hold its next meeting in September, and perhaps this meeting will not have to be attended remotely.
Photo caption for our feature image: the Board of Cupar Development Trust, photographed before the Coronavirus lock down:
- Front, Left to right:
- Bill Pagan (Chair), Nicky Bond (Secretary), Jim Hair (Treasurer);
- Back, Left to right:
- Des Montgomery, Maurice Shepherd, Rick Bond;
- Kathy McCall.