New lease of life for St Andrews industrial estate?

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Proposals aimed at giving a dilapidated industrial estate in St Andrews a new lease of life have attracted significant interest.

New efforts being made in a bid to bring much-needed employment opportunities to the university town could see the rundown Bassaguard Estate given a major facelift.

Owned by Fife Council, the 0.77-acre site has long been mooted as an ideal location for small businesses and all previous attempts to have it zoned for residential purposes have been strongly resisted, in particular by St Andrews Community Council.

Earlier this year, the local authority sought expressions of interest in the site - offering a 125-year lease - and the initial move has been a success.

Local Fife Councillor Bill Sangster said that the council had received several notes of interest and offers were now being invited for Class Four use only - consideration will not be given to residential or retail use - with a closing date of February 10.

The brownfield industrial site, it is accessed off Wallace Street and is adjacent to the St Andrews Botanic Garden, offers potential for a small-scale mixed use office/workshop development.

Councillor Sangster told the Citizen: ”This is an underused and rundown area within the town which is in great need of investment and improvement.

‘‘It is an opportunity for a private sector developer or not-for-profit organisation experienced in developing business workplace accommodation for local needs.

“It is an area which has already been agreed on the local plan for commercial use and I can see this as a way forward for more local employment and a strong foundation in the small family run business community.”

He said that it could house light industrial premises, a modest office development or a combination of both, while a two-storey property would also be welcome to maximise the use of the space available.

He added: “I would really like to see this area in use and become a busy, varied light industry centre once more, thus allowing young people the opportunity to gain apprenticeships in the many trades required in this day and age.”