THE announcement of yet another shop closure has prompted claims that Methil’s High Street has become a ghost town.
That’s the opinion of residents and shopkeepers as a local hardware and gift shop closed its door to the public for the last time on Saturday.
Fiona Harris, who traded as Fiona’s Shop on the High Street for 14 years, said the loss of the nearby Cannon’s Surgery and Boots Pharmacy in December proved to be the final straw for her business.
“In the last two to three years it’s grown steadily quieter and quieter,” she explained.
“It’s just not sustainable anymore, unfortunately.
“People just won’t come along the High Street now – the footfall is non-existent.
“The recession has a had a knock-on effect and the loss of the doctors’ surgery and the chemist just killed the High Street altogether.”
Jim Duncan, who has owned the local butcher’s on Methil High Street for 30 years, told the Mail he intended to retire in June.
The business will be put up for sale shortly, he confirmed.
“The High Street has just gone backwards this last three to four years. When RGC and Methil Docks were busy, we were fine, but Fife Energy Park – who’s it helping? It’s disappointing and very sad.”
A local mum-of-two, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “You could go out on to the street with a gun and not shoot anybody. That’s no exaggeration.
“When people came to the doctors, they would pop into the chemist for a prescription and maybe have a coffee when they waited for the bus. Not any more.”
Councillor John O’Brien visited the area last week to hear shopkeepers’ concerns and told the Mail he feared this was “the end of Methil High Street as we know it.”
He added: “To see the place like this is a crying shame.
“It begs the question – why did Fife Council and local councillors not do more to save this community by attracting investment 10-20 years ago?”
Ms Harris, a resident of Glenrothes, revealed she had no plans to set up another business elsewhere.
Thanking local residents for their custom and recent kindness, she added: “There are lots of really nice people down here and I will be very sorry to go and not see them any more. I’ll miss them.”