End of the line for lino works?

KIRKCALDY; 'View of nairn building from top of Victoria Hospital.'Photo; walter neilson
KIRKCALDY; 'View of nairn building from top of Victoria Hospital.'Photo; walter neilson
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HOPES that a historic linoleum factory in Kirkcaldy could be saved from demolition appear to have been scuppered.

The former Nairn’s Linoleum Works in Victoria Road now looks set to be bulldozed after recent proposals suggested it would be too expensive to renovate the property.

The move comes after it emerged earlier this month that Historic Scotland had launched a bid to retain it, indicating that building repair grants could be used to pay for the crumbling building’s regeneration.

Historic Scotland also questioned the estimated figures given by Colliers International - which lodged the plans on behalf of Scottish Enterprise - and asked whether the proposals met certain tests under Scottish Historic Environment Policy (SHEP). This would show if a repair was or wasn’t economically viable.

However, it is believed Historic Scotland has now suggested the proposals appear to have done enough to meet the SHEP test.

Deficit

Steven Robb, heritage management team leader at Historic Scotland, said any scheme for the repair or re-use of the buildings would result in a “substantial” deficit which would be unlikely to be met by grants alone.

A spokesman for Historic Scotland added: “We have been consulted by Fife Council on an application to demolish Nairn’s Linoleum Works by Scottish Enterprise.

“It is government policy that every effort is made to retain a listed building. Any application for demolition therefore needs to meet one of four tests under the Scottish Historic Environment Policy (SHEP).

“As part of the consultation by the Council we asked for further information to properly assess the justification for demolition.

Analysis

“After careful analysis it appears Scottish Enterprise has met the SHEP tests and we therefore await the Council’s formal consideration.

“It would still be up to Scottish Enterprise to consider other options such as mothballing the building.”

David Henderson, chairman of Kirkcaldy West Community Council said: “The building has been an eyesore for years and the community council would support its demolition. It is now time to move on.”

An application to demolish the A-listed linoleum factory was submitted by Scottish Enterprise last year on the grounds that it would be too expensive to renovate the building.

The south factory, which was built in 1882 has lain empty and fallen into a derelict state since linoleum production moved to modern works in Den Road during the mid 1980s.