Major step for Invertiel regeneration as giant Stagecoach garage put on market
Stagecoach has confirmed that its bus depot on Kirkcaldy Esplanade is finally up for sale on the open market.
The news, which comes hard on the heels of the opening of Morrisons supermarket at Invertiel, could prompt a complete transformation of Kirkcaldy’s western gateway.
Councillor George Kay, chairman of Invertiel forum, said: “To put that building on the open market is a big step forward in regenerating the area and I’d like to see something go in there that would complement Morrisons.
“A garden centre, for example, would be very desirable. Certainly the Joseph family [local landowners] would like to see a cinema built there.”
The depot, which has never been up for sale before, was originally earmarked for the development of a hovercraft terminal to fulfil Stagecoach boss Brian Souter’s hopes of a cross-Forth link between Kirkcaldy and Edinburgh.
However, in 2011, that plan was shelved after Edinburgh politicians refused to allow a link terminal in Portobello.
Although the Kirkcaldy bus depot has lain in a semi-neglected state for years, it still served a practical purpose for the transport firm.
A Stagecoach spokesman said: “Although it has not been a working depot as such for a number of years, the building has been used for additional storage and engineering facilities when required, to support our engineering capabilities across the other depots we operate in Fife.”
Morrisons, which opened on the derelict B&Q site last year, was heralded as the first significant investment at Invertiel for more than 30 years.
The demolition and redevelopment of the bus depot site is now key to continued improvement in that area, said Cllr Kay.
He explained: “I’ve written to Stagecoach several times and in November I got a response telling me they would make sure the units were environmentally sound - I presume that means the roof, which is probably asbestos, will be secured - and then they said it would go onto the open market.”
He added: “We are very pleased with the Joseph family’s site. You wouldn’t notice it from Morrisons but, at the back, Invertiel Developments has tidied up there.
“As for the Seafield picnic area, we desperately want to see money being spent there and will be looking for funding in the New Year as well. All these things are progressing, albeit not at break-neck speed.”
At the time of going to press, details of the asking price for the bus depot and the agent handling the sale were unavailable.
But Cllr Kay hoped the site would attract significant interest from potential investors.
He commented: “It would very much depend who was willing to put their cash out and these are, ultimately, commercial decisions.
“I just hope that 2014 will be a year that we can see the next dramatic step forward to match what we’ve done at Morrisons.”