Glenrothes town centre owners snub minister’s visit

Cabinet Secretary Michael Matheson in Glenrothes for a town centre summit meeting.
Cabinet Secretary Michael Matheson in Glenrothes for a town centre summit meeting.

The owner of the town’s shopping centre has been accused of “disrespecting Glenrothes”, after it snubbed a visit by a Scottish Government minister who came to discuss the town centre’s future.

Michael Matheson MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, whose remit includes town centres, met with residents groups, business leaders, Fife Council representatives and local politicians, to discuss ideas how to improve the long term viability of the town centre.

Glenrothes MSP Jenny Gilruth had personally invited both Mars Pension Group, who own Kingdom Shopping Centre, and LaSalle Management Agents, who run the centre, to attend the summit meeting.

You might also be interested in:

Kirkcaldy company ‘considering closure’ plan

Have your say in our town centre survey

Fife Men’s Shed is biggest in Scotland

However, both parties failed to show up, sparking renewed concerns over their long-term commitment to Glenrothes.

Mr Matheson discussed a number of issues relating to the town centre including rates, A92 improvements and the need for the Glenrothes to be given a town centre strategy for the future.

“The challenge is not only how we can support retailers but also how to give Glenrothes a vision about what it wants to achieve, playing particular attention to the town’s strengths,” he said.

“Town centres have changed drastically in recent years, that’s why it’s vital a co-ordinated approach with all parties with a vested interest working in partnership with each other to bring about the desired results.

“It’s been made abundantly clear that there is a frustration with the centre’s owners and I’ll be looking to see how my team can help improve that relationship and the part they have to play.”

Commenting after the visit, Ms Gilruth said the owner’s no-show had indicated an apparent lack of interest in the town’s future and shown a total disrespect for the public.

“It seemed we were finally making progress with LaSalle and the centre’s owners, so I’m deeply disappointed by the lack of any representation by these two groups,” she said.

“This town needs a vision and with the town effectively having a privately owned high street, Mars and LaSalle have an integral part to play in shaping that vision.

“It’s time they stated taking Glenrothes seriously.”

However, question marks remain over LaSalle’s future roll in the town after council officers indicated that a new management firm could be brought in before the end of the year to replace the current London-based outfit.