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Leven was an established town long before any of its neighbours were more than small villages. Over the centuries it developed a mixed industrial base geared around papermaking, spinning, timber sales. As a result of this it was not as dependent on coal mining as Methil and Buckhaven and did not suffer as greatly when the pits closed.
For most of this century the town's beaches and golf courses made a popular holiday resort, particularly with people from the west of Scotland. Although the number of visitors has dropped dramatically over the last few years Leven still has the air of a holiday town particularly around the promenade. The area around Mountfleurie and the Broom were constructed during the 1950s along with the tree scheme in Methil. These houses were built to help with the post war housing shortage and the last to be built to house miners coming to the area.