KINCARDINE residents could witness a "major makeover" of the town's high street, as part of an intensive regeneration project.

The Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT) is organising a Charrette – an initiative that will bring together organisations, businesses and members of the community to discuss and plan the future of the area.

It is hoped that some proposals, if approved, could "change the face of Kincardine and help the town cope with the economic fallout from loss of Longannet Power Station".

The Kincardine Charrette is part of the trust's Longannet Initiative which aims to ensure a local voice is heard in the work of the Task Force charged with offsetting the devastating blow to the local economy, as a result of the power station closure.

Pauline Douglas, head of operations in Scotland for the CRT, said: “We are delighted the Scottish Government is backing our proposal to organise a charrette which is a very positive way of helping Kincardine shake off the loss of its major industry.

“We will appoint a team of architects and planners to organise intensive local consultations, and draw up a plan and timescale for the town to shake off the legacy of Longannet and build a new and exciting future for itself."

Gary Porter, CRT’s regeneration team leader, hopes the programme will garner support from all areas of the town, including primary school children, voluntary organisations, businesses and residents.

“This a very intensive exercise," he said. "The consultations will only last a week, but the final action plan could give Kincardine a blueprint for its development over the next five, ten or fifteen years.

“The findings could be anything from a major makeover to the town’s High Street to developing a new focus on things like tourism and heritage-related businesses to replace the economic benefits of the power station.

“One of the really exciting aspects of this process is that at this stage nobody knows where it will take us, but it is a great opportunity for the local community to decide how they want the town to look, or how it should function.”

Shirley-Anne Somerville, MSP for Dunfermline and the coastal villages, added: “I am delighted that the Scottish Government and the CRT are working together to ensure that Kincardine residents have the opportunity to develop and drive forward a positive vision for the area following the closure of Longannet.

“The Coalfields Regeneration Trust has developed a richly deserved reputation for being able to bring communities together to face challenges like this, and I am sure they will deliver a very successful charrette in Kincardine.”