Local community police officers and Fife Council have come up with a scheme to give Cowdenbeath High Street a makeover and help tackle low-level crime at the same time.
When the shop shutters come down at night, local residents will be treated to the sight of a different work of art on every shop, thanks to a collaboration between police, Fife Council and High Street business owners.
With funding from the Cowdenbeath Area Committee’s Local Community Planning budget, local artist Kerry Wilson has been engaged to paint a scene on each shutter to represent the nature of the business.
Pupils from Beath High School and members of a local youth group are assisting Kerry in her artistic endeavours.
So far, Silk and Fresh Flower Pot’s shutters have been painted with a large red rose on a deep blue background, work has begun on The Cancer Research Shop and almost every other business on the High Street with shuttered premises have begun to form an orderly queue to be next!
Community Inspector Ian Stephen said: “When I speak to business owners and residents of Cowdenbeath I often hear that the High Street could be a more attractive and welcoming place to be.
“My own feeling is that this leads to a negative outlook which contributes to low level offending.
“By engaging with local businesses and getting young people involved in painting the shutters, we want to contribute to making the High Street a more attractive place and help people to feel proud of their area.”
Andrew Walker of Fife Council Town Centre Development Unit said: “This work is part of an overall package to support the local economy and ensure that it remains vibrant; it builds on the strong community activity that already exists within the town centre and ensures that the Town Centre continues to be regarded as the hub of the town.”
Nicola Barker-Harrison of Beath High School’s Design Department said: “We are delighted to be involved in this initiative and have been overwhelmed by the number of young people from Beath High who have volunteered to give up their spare time to help paint the shutters.
“It’s brilliant that these talented pupils are not only being given an opportunity to develop their skills on a real life project but also to make a positive difference to the community they live in.”