the sale of the Mercat Shopping Centre has been welcomed by politicians and businessmen in Kirkcaldy.
And all say they hope the sale will mark the start of a brighter future for the centre, the High Street and the whole town.
The news was announced in a press release at the end of last week which said that the town centre shopping centre and three shop units on the High Street had been “acquired” by LaSalle Investment Management “on behalf of a client from joint administrators, Blair Nimmo and Gary Fraser of KPMG.”
Despite attempts by the Press to find out which company was behind the sale, no official information has been forthcoming, although we understand it is a pension group.
In the press release, the Mercat is described as a 200,000 square foot covered multi-let shopping centre with 62 retail units.
“The centre is currently home to 49 retailers, including Marks & Spencer, BHS, Home Bargains, Argos, Poundland and Peacocks.’’
And it goes on to say: “LaSalle believes there is an excellent opportunity to attract additional retailers to the existing strong tenant line-up and to continue successful trading within the scheme.”
Blair Nimmo, joint administrator with KPMG in Scotland, said: “We are pleased to have traded the Mercat Shopping Centre during our time as administrators and believe this sale is a positive development for Kirkcaldy as it will allow the centre to continue trading.”
Andrew Bull, fund manager at LaSalle, added: “We are delighted with this acquisition on behalf of our client.
‘‘The Mercat Shopping Centre is located in a strong town with good retailer demand. We are looking forward to attracting more retailers and working with our existing ones for the benefit of both shoppers and tenants in the town.”
Welcoming the sale, David Torrance, Kirkcaldy MSP, said: “This is good news for Kirkcaldy and it should bring a bit of stability to the shopping centre and secure its future, ending the uncertainty which has surrounded it over the past few months.
‘‘It will also hopefully encourage businesses to relocate to the town and increase the footfall in the High Street, which is the most important thing.”
Louise Ciaraldi, marketing co-ordinator at the centre, said: “We are delighted that the sale has gone through and look forward to a bright future with our new owners.”
Bill Harvey, manager of Kirkcaldy4All, added: “We are delighted that the uncertainty has gone and we look forward to it pushing on with business as usual.
“The sale shows that Kirkcaldy is still alive and kicking and that people outwith the town see that there is potential here.
‘We look forward to working with the new owners to help promote it and make it a success.”