Dining out in Dunfermline is one of the most popular reasons for visiting the city and a third of visitors to the city centre are from outside Fife. These are the findings of a survey undertaken by BID company, Dunfermline Delivers.
Face-to-face interviews with almost 100 people were undertaken in the centre of Dunfermline towards the end of 2013. Surveying the public perception of Dunfermline is an important part of a wider consultation undertaken by the BIDs company to inform their five-year plan for the city.
This shows the need for detailed research and the changing role of the centre since the 2007 survey conducted by Fife Council; 53% of respondents visited the city to eat in 2013 - whereas dining out didn't register as a separate category in 2007.
Shopping was also popular with 37% of respondents in the 2014 survey citing this as the main reason for their visit.
Changing role of city centres
Maggie Mitchell, Chief Executive of Dunfermline Delivers said: "The eating out statistic is a really valuable insight into why people come into Dunfermline. For a long time now we have been driving footfall to the city with a wider leisure offer which includes events such as The Bruce Festival, the Easter Festival and Dunfermline Live. We are also fortunate in Dunfermline in that our theatres also attract people from much further afield.
"The evolving role of city centres is changing and we've already adapted to that new landscape. On a Saturday morning when a family weighs up where they are going for the day, shopping is still important but they'll consider which cafes and restaurants they'd like to visit and what events are happening."
There were also positive signs for the future vibrancy of the city. Young people make up nearly a third of visitors to Dunfermline; 28% of respondents were under 30, with the 31-49 age band accounting for 33% and those aged 50-69 were 30% of respondents.
Home to two theatres, Dunfermline is a draw for many visitors from outwith Fife. Nearly a third, 28% were from locations outside the county including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Alloa and Livingston. The remainder were split evenly between Dunfermline and the rest of Fife, both at 36% of responses.
The average time spent in Dunfermline City centre by most people was two to three hours, for 58% of respondents this was the duration of their visit, with another 31% spending four hours or more, and only 11% indicating they would be there for less than an hour.
When asked if they enjoyed their visit to Dunfermline 100% of those who answered this question said they had.
Another dramatic change since the 2007 survey is in the perception of the cleanliness of the city. When asked whether they thought Dunfermline was clean and attractive, the vast majority, 82%, thought it was – a considerable improvement on the 2007 survey when 47% of those asked thought the cleanliness as poor or very poor.
Perhaps a source of pride for locals is that Dunfermline city centre was considered friendly by 95% of respondents.
The things that people liked about Dunfermline were the history, the heritage, The Glen, parking and ease of access, Areas for improvement include the variety, choice and quality of the shopping experience and there could be more choice of restaurants.
Jennifer Ward, from Edinburgh worked in Dunfermline for nearly two years until early 2014:"I enjoyed the wide variety of young fashion available in Dunfermline. It's great to have access to independent retailers such as Maggie's Farm where you can pick up something different no one else will have but at the same time can shop for the essentials in Primark. Although Dunfermline is small, it's a good place to shop because everything is close together – new places to eat opened during the time I worked in the town so there was more choice for dining as well."
Meghan Young, 28 from Seattle spent 11 days in March 2014 in Dunfermline visiting a friend who lives in the area. "I thought Dunfermline Abbey was incredible and I spent some time in Cafe Fresh - the thing that struck me about Dunfermline is that it was really easy to find your way around - I spent around two to three hours in the town on the day I visited. The locals were incredibly friendly and helped me when I needed directions. I also spent some time in the Creepy Wee Pub in the evening, which I loved and can't wait to come back to visit!"
Source: Dunfermline Delivers
For more information click here.