FIFE’S external image is under scrutiny as a perception study takes place to find out what businesses, national opinion formers, visitors to Fife, and the wider UK public think of the area and how they see it.
Councillor Tony Martin, chair of Fife Council’s Environment, Enterprise & Transportation Committee, said: “Projecting a strong positive picture of Fife will influence the area’s ability to attract tourism and inward investment which are vital to its continued economic growth.
“This type of groundwork is long overdue for Fife and much needed.
“The perception study will provide a clear overview of what Scotland perceives to be Fife’s strengths and weaknesses.
“We reported only last week that Fife is outperforming Scotland and the UK in terms of economic growth but we are not immune to the effects of the recession.
“The perception study conclusions will provide support in developing marketing activities that can help shape future decisions in key areas of inward investment, tourism and renewable energy.”
The Fife Perception Study is being carried out over the next six months.
A series of workshops with businesses, national and local opinion formers, councillors, partnerships and trusts, combined with current resident research, will provide an insight into how Fife is being perceived.
This information will be used to underline and strengthen the promotion of Fife, particularly in the key areas of tourism and renewable energy.
The study will also contribute towards achieving the strategic objectives from the Fife Economic Strategy. In particular: attracting private sector investment through Invest in Fife of £550 million; growing Fife’s tourism sector revenue by 20 per cent (£51 million); and increasing employment in key sectors such as renewable energy.
Fraser Phillips, chair of the Fife Economy Partnership, said: “Fife’s economic survival and growth depends on attracting private sector jobs to the area. We have enormous potential to be more competitive and grasp new opportunities – particularly in renewable energy and tourism.
“Our aim is to make Fife the easiest place to do business and the perception study is a key milestone in the journey of understanding how we can more effectively bring further investment, new business and tourists to the Kingdom.”
The study has been commissioned by Fife Council as part of the work of the Environment, Enterprise & Transportation Committee.
It falls within the Fife Economy Partnership’s Promoting Fife initiative whose aims are to raise the profile of Fife and position it nationally and globally as a great place to live, work, visit and invest.
Until recently, there has been no formal structure supporting an integrated promotion of Fife and this may have been limiting its economic growth potential.
The findings from the study will provide an understanding of what customers want from Fife as a place and this will enable the Promoting Fife initiative target external investors and tourists more effectively and so influence consumers and clients to live, work, visit, and invest in Fife.
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