Village skyline changed forever

The factory as villagers know it was built in the 1930s but the site itself dates back much earlier than that
The factory as villagers know it was built in the 1930s but the site itself dates back much earlier than that

The skyline of one of Fife’s most historic villages is set to change dramatically with the demolition of a significant landmark.

Work has begun to raze St John’s Works in Well Brae, Falkland, which sits on a site dating back more than 200 years and which has lain derelict since being vacated by paper manufacturing giant Smith Anderson in 2013.

The project is expected to be completed by early spring and the land sold off to make way for housing.

The work was approved by Fife Council despite a plea to Historic Scotland by a local resident to give the factory listed building status due to its ‘cultural significance.’

It was originally a cotton mill, then became a linoleum factory before Smith Anderson bought it in 1968.

Now the land on which the factory sits is zoned for housing and is expected to be offered for sale once the demolition is complete.

Peter Burman, chairman of Falkland Community Council, said: “The removal of the factory is already being deeply felt. It is a large area dominating the upper part of the village.

“What will actually happen to the site is the question in all our minds. How will it be decided and by whom?

“It will need very careful planning and handling.”