MSP hits out at town centre owner’s ‘wall of silence’

The town centre owners have been criticised by the town's MSP.
The town centre owners have been criticised by the town's MSP.

The owner of Glenrothes town centre has been lambasted by the town’s MSP for its wall of silence over what, if anything, it is doing to attract new business and jobs to the area.

Jenny Gilruth, MSP for Mid Fife and Glenrothes, has called on Mars Pension Group who own the Kingdom Shopping Centre, and its managing agents LaSalle Investments, to tell the public what it is doing to promote inward investment and jobs into the town.

Mid Fife & Glenrothes MSP Jenny Gilruth has hit out at the lack effort on behalf of the owners.

Mid Fife & Glenrothes MSP Jenny Gilruth has hit out at the lack effort on behalf of the owners.

Ms Gilruth told the Gazette of her frustration over the blanket refusal to come clean on its plans for Glenrothes.

“As we approach the 70th anniversary of Glenrothes I’d like to know exactly what investment Mars Pensions Trustees are putting into the town,” said Ms Gilruth.

“As the MSP for Glenrothes I am surprised not to have received a single communication from the company. I have left managing director, Simon Usher, countless voice mails.

“I have written to the company. I have even tweeted their managing agents – but to no avail.

“I don’t think that’s good enough.

“Mars Pensions Trustees own the civic space of our town, it’s about time local people found out exactly what they’re doing to attract inward investment and jobs to Glenrothes.”

LaSalle Investments last spoke publicly about its plans for the town centre in February 2015.

Since then an attempt to sell the shopping centre as part of a portfolio of retail malls in March 2015 proved unsuccessful.

LaSalle has, however, met with members of Glenrothes Area Futures Group to discuss the owners’ plans to demolish the former Co-op and Forum buildings as part of a long-term plan to clear away and redevelop Albany Gate and Lyon Square within the existing Kingdom Centre footprint.

The MSP raised the issue of private company ownership of town centres directly with the Scottish Government Housing Minister, Kevin Stewart MSP, during last week’s Scottish Parliament debate on housing, and is due to meet with the minister to discuss concerns.

“The government should be looking critically at the issue of privately-owned town centres across Scotland. I recognise this is also the case in a number of other New Towns,” said Ms Gilruth.

Nobody from LaSalle Investment Management was available to comment on the issues raised by the MSP.