St Monans Regeneration Initiative
Update 15/08/2016 : A message from Gordon Bell
” It was great to see the turnout at the Harbours Public Meeting called by the Community Council last Monday (8th August 2016). We were delighted at the general level of support and appreciative of the feedback.
“As you would expect there were questions and concerns which hopefully were addressed. From over seventy people there was only one on the night who indicated they would be putting a formal objection. As before any person wishing a one to one review of our plans, we are available.
“Many thanks for the large number of supporting Emails we have received and from them offers to assist. As a result, we have taken up the offers and will be forming a Towns Team to assist in taking our regeneration project forward.
“If there are any others who wish to assist with the development of the village and its prosperity, please come forward- it does not require a high commitment. If you have a business or work from the village, please make sure you let us know of your operations, as our first project is a directory of all business.”
Do you run a business based in St Monans?
As part of the St Monans regeneration initiative we are currently developing a new website to promote businesses in the community, the first stage of this is to develop a register of all businesses, services they provide and contact details. We want to hear from all businesses no matter how small or even part-time. The list will include letting houses and B&Bs. Please email to info@St-Monans.com – if you do not have access to email you may leave the details at the post office addressed to the St Monans Initiative.
Key services you supply
(more will be published here when received).
- 2015 Fife Harbours Study Summary
- St Monans Feasibility Study – Final – 6-12-12
(Feasibility Study Dec 2012, for turning the harbour into a marina with pontoons etc)
- The following item posted on behalf of Gordon Bell
St Monans Community Regeneration Initiative
This initiative comes from a growing concern around the decline of commercial activities within St Monans, loss of local jobs, and the effect on the community. Over the last few years we have seen a decline in the fishing activities, the closure of our boat building business and the closure of the boat maintenance slip. One of our shops and the café has also closed. While the village projects a reasonable affluent impression it has many of the social challenges of larger communities, our project focuses on jobs that will be available to the unskilled and semi-skilled workers.
This new St Monans Initiative has the backing of the Local Councillors, The Community Council, The St Monans Harbour Users Association and generally supported by the Fife Council . The vehicle for this initiative is The St Monans Community Trust
We seek to developed new sustainable business opportunities and create an environment where they can cooperate, thrive and give employment to local people. We also wish to create an environment and a destination that will attract day and short-term visitors.
The tourist market will be increasingly important however it is very seasonal so our initiative focus will be to establish small manufacturing and service based businesses that operate all year round.
St Monans was a fishing and boatbuilding community and its heart is still in those roots. In and around the village many of the businesses still have a link to seafood, fish and farming, with this in mind we have chosen to build on this theme of quality food. We have two General Stores, Five Wholesale/Retail fish merchants, a Hotel Bar & Restaurant, a Fine Dining Restaurant, a Farm Shop, a Post Office and there is one relatively new business East Pier Smokehouse and Café which is welcome.
We seek to develop St Monans as a food destination both for the public and for retailers/distributors seeking high quality Scottish produce. We seek to expand and develop through cooperation and by adding value. We seek to raise awareness of all businesses and services in the community.
There are Five Main Elements.
- Manufacturing and Processing
Our manufacturing/processing base will supply sustainable and all year round employment. We are lucky in that we have some industrial units at the top of the village that they are all full and there is a demand for similar small start-up units. We are cooperating with Anstruther estates that have a farm opposite the top of the village; they hope to develop the existing buildings in to small units for food manufacturers and processors also to develop a communal vegetable garden and allotments, all this linked in to their existing farming and commercial operations. We hope to link this with existing plans for further development of existing units and housing development. There are proposals for a new build at the harbour for four workshops and gallery units. We are looking at up to ten new businesses.
We see a key initiative for new development would be in leisure and tourism based around the harbour. We understand that unless the harbour develops some additional income there is little reason for its maintenance. St Monans is on the Fife coastal path and therefore has a large number of walkers passing through however there is little reason now to stop. Other day visitors arriving by car find little or no parking and tend to turn round where they can and leave. Our final groups are visitors to the letting houses. This group is increasing as there are more letting houses. This is a mixed blessing as it would not be desirable for the community to have a high percentage of non-resident owners, however visitors letting houses bring considerable income to the community. Our proposals for tourism are based around the harbour, our aim is a short to medium term project that will improve the facilities for the visitor and develop income for the harbour and surrounding businesses.
We will promote the village as a beautiful destination , a source of great food and a centre for the visual arts, in particular painting and photography.
- Our Harbour
To help generate income from the harbour there has been a proposal to increase the capacity for mooring, this is generally supported. This will bring rental income in for the council and increase visitors to the village. However this would require the services around the harbour to be substantially upgraded. This was the item that spurred the foundation of The St Monans Harbour Users Association.
A little history for those that might not know: The impetus to look into a marina proposal came from funds made available to Harbour Board to use for consultancy on a project. It could have been used on any harbour project so we were lucky that St Monans was chosen for the project. We must stress that at no time were there monies available to carry out such works and all proposals are subject to funding being available. In these troubled times of cutbacks it is unlikely this project will be prioritised.
We think it worthwhile to take a wider view of our harbour and community use. Most of enjoy the harbour in its present form and are keen to maintain its character and ambiance however the harbour has not stood still in the past and will continue to evolve. It is important the harbour produces some commercial income for it to be maintained, if there is no income there will be no maintenance and the harbour will silt up and fall in to disrepair. The harbour is at the heart of the community and is enjoyed by many. It’s our equivalent of a village green.
- Creel Fishing
We wish to encourage and support the few commercial fishermen still operating (Shellfish), however, recognise this will be difficult. Boat building and maintenance will not return. We are looking in to developing a management strategy for creel fishing that will identify and preserve areas of the coast and seabed for conservation and breeding of new stock. We are also looking in to hatcheries for increasing commercial lobster stocks. Fresh produce from the sea and land are at the heart of our new initiative.
- Broadband and Communications
We seek to have our broadband connections upgraded to commercial speeds. We will establish a St Monans intranet and communications location connecting to an Internet information site. We are hoping to develop a system on communicating with the public at entry point on the walk and cycle ways giving information on services and activities.
We have developed a plan that can be carried out in steps that each in their own way will bring benefits to the local commercial businesses and develop the social facilities to the community. Our aim is to get agreement between the community and authorities on a commercial strategy for the village and a program of infrastructure works required supporting this. It is understood that not all funds can come from the public sector.
Issues to be addressed.
- Technical survey of the west harbour basin and costing of the harbour project.
- Services to existing harbour users and visitor are poor. For the boats there are no toilets or chemical toilet disposal point, no shower or washing facility for visiting boats. Electricity and water are sporadic.
- Parking is a problem particularly at the West End which is exacerbated by patrons of the Craig Miller Restaurant (Good!) There is also an issue with lack of turning space. This will come from the landscaping of the old west slipway, now derelict.
- Additional space will be required for boat storage and maintenance. It would be ideal if we could accommodate all boats laid up for the winter without using the mid pier.
- Upgrade of the old boat shed base to accommodate small/day boat launch and trailer parking in the summer and small boat storage in the winter.
- Restoration of the west end green and small beach is required, which have been steadily eroded.
- Introduction of additional small businesses and commercial units.
- Development of the Community Garden and Allotments.
- Fisheries conservation strategies.
- Lobster Nursery.
- We are keen to ensure that elements wherever possible have full access people with disabilities.
- Encouragement of social initiatives for engagement of all members of the community.
An example of a community project is a partnership with St Andrews University Sailing club where we are assisting with the build and restoration of the boat and looking after it in the harbour in exchange for the boat being accessible to the local community and in particular the younger elements who are excluded from sailing as they have no access to a boat.
Community project build and sail Rowing Skiff. A group has been formed for this project and the build is underway.
It is very obvious that there will be little or no capital investment from Fife council, so it will be up to communities to take the initiative. Recognising the lack of monies the council have, however have offered to support the project in any practical way they can.