Former BhS store in Kirkcaldy set to re-open – and this is what it will be used for

The doors to one of Kirkcaldy town centre’s biggest shops are set to re-open – and for a very different use.
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Work to convert the former BhS store into an employment centre is well underway, and a launch date has now been pencilled in for late March.

Planning permission for the change was granted last year, and the building will become one of a number of bases opened by the UK Government across the country as it hires thousands of new work coaches.

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The former BHS store in Kirkcaldy - the first BHS to open in Scotland in 1964The former BHS store in Kirkcaldy - the first BHS to open in Scotland in 1964
The former BHS store in Kirkcaldy - the first BHS to open in Scotland in 1964
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The aim is to help get people back into work after the pandemic.

The update was given by the Mercat Shopping Centre which owns the former store.

The new centre will be an appointment only facility, manned with work coaches and security staff provided by a contractor.

Each member of the public will be allocated a specific work coach and be given an appointment time.

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The internal layout of the former store - which sits in the heart of the town’s pedestrianised zone - will consist of desk areas, separated by screens to ensure the privacy of one to one meetings between advisors and visitors.

The building has sat empty since BhS closed its doors in the summer of 2016 with the loss of around 30 jobs.

In 2017, the 35,000-square feet retail space - which had an annual rental of £330,000 - was sold several weeks before it was due to go up for auction, but this will be the first time it has been brought into use.

It was the first BhS unit opened in Scotland in 1964.

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