Lochgelly Town Centre Regeneration

Fife

  • Client: Ore Valley Housing Association, Fife Council, and Building Heritage Trust
  • Project Value: £30m
  • Brief: Masterplan and phased redevelopment of the Town Centre to overcome the existing prevalent economic stagnation.

This project has seen a successful community-lead approach to regeneration that has ensured Lochgelly is seen as a place to live, work and visit. It has boosted the local economy by providing new opportunities for retail, business and training.

Lochgelly is an ex-mining town in Fife which, following the pit closures, fell into social and economic decline. The area has a higher than average number of lone parents, people living on benefits and unemployment than in the rest of Fife, and many residents were moving away leaving a high proportion of people over the age of 65. ECD was appointed to work with the Housing Association and Council as well as Commercial Developers, Economic Development Consultants and Tenant groups to develop the area’s Regeneration Policy and propose a phased masterplan for regeneration.

A range of serious issues needed to be addressed, including negative perceptions, economic stagnation and the steady decline in the built fabric. The physical works were proposed to take no less than 10 years to complete. To date we have completed four phases of new build housing, a refurbishment of a Grade B listed building for education & training use and a new build incubator business centre. These projects include:

New build Housing
Bolan Square & Frances Street – £2m – 28 terraced houses and bungalows
Cook Square – £1.2m – 14 flats and houses
Main Street Houses – £1.1m – Mixed use development of 12 flats above 6 retail units
South Street – £2.9m – 32 homes as flatted and semi-detached housing

Community Projects
Miners Institute – £1.6m – Conversion of a Grade B listed building into a training centre
Lochgelly Business Centre – £2.4m – New build office incubator facility
Day Care Centre – £1.4m – new facility to accommodate elderly and infirm individuals

Community integration was identified early as an integral component to the area’s regeneration, and a key to the regeneration design process – from the area initial masterplanning to the site specific projects. We therefore worked closely with the client and community to develop designs which focus on how each space is connected. As a result the new build housing and infill development direct and improve circulation through the town, create linkages to focal points within the town centre, and address the permeability of spaces.

The re-emergence of the community buildings and housing on the Main Street has provided focus towards the public square in the heart of the town enlivening the Main Street and encouraging businesses into the area within the new retail units and Business Centre, and elsewhere. To reinforce the connectivity between Main Street, the new housing and the existing community, we prepared a Local Landscape Strategy and Proposals document for Lochgelly, in public walks around the town with residents, Ore Valley Housing Association and Fife Council to review existing green spaces in and surrounding the town centre. Options for improvement were identified and developed to compliment the new development and refurbishment projects within the regeneration area. This has resulted in a community sense of ownership, public appreciation and protection of the environment, and a reduced need for external maintenance.

Awards:

  • Winner: Scottish Urban Regeneration Forum (SURF) Awards 2016:  Scotland’s most Improved Town
  • Winner: Planning & Placemaking Awards 2016: Award for Promoting Economic Growth
  • Winner: Planning & Placemaking Awards 2016: Regional Regeneration Award (Scotland)

Photos by McAteer Photograph.