New owners for Kirkcaldy’s former BhS High Street store

One of the biggest empty shops in Kirkcaldy High Street has been bought.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 10:15 am

BhS is now owned by the new owners of the Mercat Shopping Centre.

Glasgow based Gateside Property Management has acquired the site for re-development.

The site is one of the largest in the pedestrianised area of the town centre, but it has lain vacant since the retail giant closed its doors at the end of July 2016, with the loss of around 30 jobs – and become a blot on the landscape.

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BHs opened its first Scottish store in Kirkcaldy in 1964
BHs opened its first Scottish store in Kirkcaldy in 1964

News that the premises could soon be occupied once again will be welcomed by local traders and shoppers alike.

The 35,500 square feet premises have been empty since Philip Green’s company collapsed in 2016.

It was the very first BhS first to open in Scotland in May 1964 - and the Lang Toun led the way for the opening of a further 162 around the country.

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Five more followed across Scotland.

It was originally sold at auction in 2018.

When BhS first opened, it sold everything from clothing to lighting, lingerie and sweets, with many of the items under its own brand name of Prova.

Its closure was one of the big losses to the High Street, quickly followed by Debenhams and then M&S, and, more recently, WHSmith.

Debenhams is due to re-open as 1517 – a concessions store.

Work has already started on converting the building.

M&S, which closed its doors and left town after 80 years, is currently being used as a mass vaccination centre by NHSFife.

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