Give us a chance to revive old lino factory

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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A LAST-DITCH bid has been made to stop Victoria Road’s derelict lino factory from being demolished.

Just one week after Scottish Enterprise signalled the end of the road for the 200-year old ex-factory, a local group has revealed ambitious plans to transform its fortunes aned create up to 150 jobs.

Now, Kirkcaldy Mill Project (KMP) wants the demolition to be put on hold to give it time to make them a reality.

The group believes the factory - which has been empty since the 1980s - could be a social and business hub which sits at the heart of the community.

It has had initial talks with several business organisations and is now set to brief politicians.

And it wants Fifers to register their opposition to Scottish Enterprise’s plans which would see the factory razed to make the site more attractive to future development.

Last throw

A spokesman said: ‘‘This is the last throw of the dice.

‘It is a Grade-A listed building and it is worth the effort.

‘‘It is iconic, its location is perfect - it is worth keeping.

‘‘Although an eyesore currently, our proposals are sound.

‘They would provide not only a restoration plan for the building but a sustainable business model that would be able to drive new investment and opportunity to the local economy.’’

The project’s model is Chorley Mill, an old spinning mill in Lanchashire which was converted and now house retail and heritage projects.

It envisages a redeveloped lino factory where units could be sub-let to businesses such as small cottage industries which can’t afford shop front locations.

The rest of the huge site would be turned over to community use - and provide facilitites for groups which don’t have permanent bases.

Co-operative

’’The community facilities would be open to everyone - it would be managed as a co-operative. We can do so much with it.

‘‘We can scale back our project to fit other buildings in the area, but we really, really want to try to do it in Victoria Road - this is the most exciting venue and the one most relevent to what we are trying to do.’’

The project team - who have declined to be named at this stage - accept they need significant investment which they see coming from overseas,but they are confident the time is right to start work despite the economic downturn.

‘‘We can help get cottage businesses up and running right now,’’ he said.

‘‘There isn’t a lot of money around, but we can give them a platform to build upon. We have to invest now to generate jobs in the future.’’