Kirkcaldy cinema not a done deal: Why we need your support

The old swimming pool has been demolished.
The old swimming pool has been demolished.

The owners of the Mercat shopping Centre say there is “limited demand” from cinema operators as the hunt for a firm to open a picture house in Kirkcaldy continues.

The Press this week asked Mercat owners LaSalle just which providers they have been talking to.

While planning permission for a cinema building at the site of the old swimming pool is pending, a deal to open a new picture house would only happen if a provider agreed to come on board.

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So far, however, there has been no sign of a cinema provider, and the one firm who had been touted to step in, Vue, have already been ruled out.

But after being asked outright by the Press which providers have been in talks, LaSalle refused to reveal any specifics, but appeared to hint that it is an uphill struggle to get providers interested.

A spokesperson for LaSalle Investment Management said: “In what is a challenging time for the national retail and leisure market, we are speaking to as many of the cinema operators as possible to convey the strength of feeling within Kirkcaldy for a cinema, as demonstrated by the recent petition.

“This market remains difficult due to the high costs of development and limited demand from the operators.

“However, we remain committed to securing the best long-term use for the swimming pool site.”

The response comes after Lesley Laird, MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, wrote to LaSalle asking for an update on the firm’s plans.

She is now due to meet with Simon Usher, the firm’s national director on Wednesday, September 12 in London.

She said: “We’re at a critical juncture with this campaign and it’s imperative that all opportunities to develop a cinema for Kirkcaldy are seized now.

“I’ve been informed by LaSalle that thanks to the Fife Free Press’ campaign they’ve taken on the ‘clear desire’ of Kirkcaldy residents for a cinema and, armed with new marketing material, are actively approaching all UK cinema operators in a bid to entice them here.

“I look forward to learning more about the nuts and bolts of that strategy when I meet LaSalle next week.”

By signing the Fife Free Press petition, you can help strengthen the case for a cinema in Kirkcaldy by showing providers that there is strong demand.