Cupar’s Development Trust

If you aren’t familiar with the work of Cupar Development Trust, CDT is a Community-Controlled Body working for the benefit of all those who live and work in the KY14 and KY15 postcodes. Their particular areas of expertise are community development and spatial planning projects although they also work on assisting with community events and other projects.We take a closer look at the Trust, the people who serve on its board as well as their current projects that are consulting, collaborating and delivering for Cupar’s future …

CDT recognises key challenges for the community in the future in areas such as:

  • Energy
  • Food
  • Economy
  • Transport
  • Education & Training
  • Wellbeing
  • The impacts of poverty

They hope the various projects in current planning and delivery will address these issues and highlight opportunities for future improvements. Their diverse board – with a wealth of experience in many sectors including local business and economy, local government, education, transport and health services – is made up of 9 members:

  1. Tony Miklinski, CBE. Chair of Cupar Development Trust: “After a career in the Royal Navy, and a recent Fife Councillor for Cupar Ward, I want to use our Development Trust’s influence to help make Cupar a happy and thriving community.
  2. Ann Bain: “I have lived in Cupar for 25 years plus and my husband is Cupar born. I work locally at Stratheden and think Cupar is a fantastic place to bring up a family.
  3. Euan McLeod: Having originally studied Psychology at University, Euan took a different career path on his graduation becoming a Chartered Tax Adviser and Business Adviser. He maintained his interest in Psychology and has been heavily involved with charities focusing on mental health and therapies. Previously he was a Board member on Perth Action for Mental Health (Mindspace) and is currently on the Board of Sunshine Club (a charity working with young adults with additional support needs) as well as Nurture Steps. He retired from his partnership in Johnston Carmichael in 2021 and keeps himself active in the world of Tax Training and advisory work for growing businesses.
  4. Rick Bond: Rick Bond is a qualified engineer and manager who has spent 40 plus years in education and training. On behalf of Elmwood College, he worked extensively in the former Soviet Union countries and China. He retired from Elmwood in 2013 as head of faculty, and in the same year he formed with his business partner the St Andrews Management Centre based in Cupar. The Centre specialises in accredited and non-accredited programmes in Leadership and Management, Project Management and Financial Management.
  5. James Hair (treasurer): James arrived in NE Fife in 1979 and set up James Hair & Co in Cupar in 1980. Offering a range of accounting , tax and investment advisory services the business is now the largest of its type in the area. Jim and his wife, Margaret, are proud parents to four grown up children who all attended Bell Baxter, and five grandchildren . He played rugby for Howe of Fife RFC in the ’80s and ’90s before taking up golf: “I suppose I can now call myself a naturalised Fifer!
  6. Mairi Lumsden: “I live in Cupar with my husband and three children. I work as an Early Years Officer and in my free time I enjoy running and helping out at local community events. I am also a member of various different local committees.
  7. Nicky Bond: “I have lived in Cupar for over 30 years with my husband Rick and our two children.  Both children attended Castlehill Primary and then Bell Baxter High School and benefited from the various local clubs and activities available in Cupar.  I have worked for Quaker Oats for over 26 years in a number of roles covering logistics, export, and supply planning before transitioning to a European Procurement team purchasing a number of different grains for our UK and European plants.
  8. Kathy McCall: Kathy trained as a doctor, her career mostly overseeing research done by others to ensure quality and legal compliance. She has lived in Cupar since 1998, and was involved for many years with local clubs her two children (now grown up) took part in. She likes walking and cycling around Cupar and villages and would love to see more safe routes clearly signposted (length, difficulty, suitability) to improve inclusion and fitness of the people of Cupar of all ages and abilities.
  9. Steven Stewart:

All volunteers who give of their time to guide and support the work of CDT, they combine their extensive range of skills and knowledge with a genuine interest in the local community to work for the benefit of all who live and work in and around Cupar. They are supported by two staff:

  • Anja Armstrong (Development Officer): Anja has 20 years of experience as a research scientist and delivering national science teaching resources. She is heavily involved with several local charities and young people’s groups, and has a background in assessing community grant funding applications, health and safety, working with volunteers and event organisation.
  • Ian Sloan (Administration Officer): Ian has 30 years experience in Community Education and managing Community Centres, followed by various roles as a Project Coordinator with local and national charities.

Both have a keen sense of community and are very active in a number of local voluntary and charitable organizations outside of work time.

Projects …

Cupar Development Trust has been undertaking a number of major projects:

Over the course of 2023 we conducted a large consultation exercise in collaboration with Community Enterprise, and from this we created a new Cupar and Country Community Action Plan. The plan sets out our community’s aspirations for the future and also lays bare some pressing issues that must be addressed. After extensive consultation, the team were able to distill all the feedback and idea received from the public into a long term vision:

“In 10 years, the Cupar and Country area will be a friendly, thriving and well connected community at the heart of North East Fife; busy, buzzing and a beacon of sustainability. The best place in Fife to live, work, play and retire”.

The Community Action Plan report outlines 15 different priority projects which are designed to address some of the issues around travel, health and recreation, the local economy, the built environment, accessibility, amenities and community spaces. Over the coming months, CDT will be working hard on projects designed to address these pressing issues.

Through young eyes …

In November (2023), CDT held the first Cupar Youth Charrette. The event – designed to seek the views of local young people regarding how they view their town and how it could be improved in the future – saw 23 local school children from Bell Baxter High School and recent school leavers from the Cupar Youth Cafe (YMCA) attend.

The young people were able to give their views on the positive and negative aspects of living and studying in Cupar, and made some really thoughtful and insightful practical suggestions to address some of the problems they encountered.

The report from this event has been shared with the local councilors and the feedback and ideas will form part of the upcoming Local Place Plan. CDT would like to thank Bell Baxter High School and the Cupar Youth Café for their support with this project – and Fife Council for their generous funding that allowed them to run the event. They would also like to say a huge thank you to “all the young people who worked very hard on the Youth Charrette project, and who’s exemplary behavior showed what a valuable asset they are to our community“.

Local Place Plan …

CDT is now in the process of compiling a Cupar Ward and Monimail Community Council Local Place Plan. Local Place Plans are a way for communities to lay out suggestions for the future use of land and buildings in their area and allow communities to address the specific issues in their area.

CDT held a series of four public consultation meetings in September 2023, and reached out to more than 100 different local organizations and over 200 local businesses to gather suggestions for the new plan.

Their public voting polls on the proposals attracted responses from over a thousand respondents; they have compiled all the suggestions and feedback received into 49 different proposals for Fife Council Planning Department. These encompass projects on various themes – recreation, education, transport, sustainability and biodiversity, recycling, tourism, housing and new land for local businesses to expand.

The Local Place Plan is now out for statutory consultation until the 6th May 2024, and they will soon submit the final document to Fife Council for consideration as the council start to form the new Fife Local Development Plan.

Please click on the front cover below to open the document online …

The proposals in the Local Place Plan will form the backbone of CDT’s efforts to address some of the several priority outcomes in our Community Action Plan. CDT will now seek funding for the various projects from the CAP and the LPP and will be offering assistance to several partner organizations to progress plans.

A big difference …

Cupar Development Trust were also delighted to be lead partners in organising Cupar’s Big Weekend in 2023. A series of events were held to showcase the various youth organisations around Cupar. The headline events were the Big Ceilidh, the Big Concert, the Big Praise and the Big Cycle. It was wonderful to see so many people and families attending these events, and to see Haugh Park being used for a large community gathering. CDT has expressed their thanks to Raymond Young for his skillful organization of this hugely successful weekend and all the local organisations and volunteers who took part to make the event possible.

Farewell …

After such a busy year, CDT were sad to say farewell to two very active board members – Mark Richardson and Bill Pagan – who have retired from the board.

  • Mark Richardson was very active on our Community Action Plan work; CDT wishes well with the renovations for his new business in Cupar – helping to renovate the premises that were once the Girl Guide Hall on South Bridge.
  • Bill Pagan has been a long standing member of CDT, and chairperson for several years. A collective note from CDT: “We couldn’t write a piece on Cupar Development Trust without acknowledging the enormous amount of support and time commitment that Bill has given to the role of chair. He has been instrumental in all of the projects described above and his enormous enthusiasm and passion for assisting the community of Cupar has driven many, many community improvements over the past few years. Sadly, Bill leaves us to focus on his work with several other local organizations and charities. On behalf of all the members of CDT, may we wish you both every success in your future endeavors!” You can read more on Bill’s work with CDT via our Blog – just click on the image below:

Trust you!

If CDT’s work is of interest to you, why not join Cupar Development Trust as a member? They provide regular updates on projects and their member base is active in all of current projects. If you are interested, please email Ian via this link.


Thank you for reading.