New plans revealed for Kirkcaldy town centre's empty BhS store

Another major empty shop in the heart of Kirkcaldy High Street is set to be brought back into use.
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The former BhS store is the subject of a new planning application to turn it into an employment centre to help get people back into work after the pandemic.

It will be one of a number of bases opened by the UK Government across the country as it hires thousands of new work coaches.

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A planning application has been submitted to Fife Council to create the new centre at 134-146 High Street.

The empty former BhS store on Kirkcaldy High StreetThe empty former BhS store on Kirkcaldy High Street
The empty former BhS store on Kirkcaldy High Street

If approved by councillors, it would bring back into use one of the town’s biggest empty units.

BhS closed its doors in the summer of 2016 with the loss of around 30 jobs, and it has been empty ever since.

In 2017, the 35,000-square feet retail - which had an annual rental of £330,000 - was sold several weeks before it was due to go up for auction.

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Last month, it was confirmed that Glasgow based Gateside Property Management had acquired the site at the same time it took over the adjacent Mercat Shopping Centre.

Now it could be set for a new lease of life outwith the retail sector.

An application for a change of use has been lodged by Leeds-based Pegasus Solutions on behalf of Instant Ltd/SoS For Housing.

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It said the new Job Centre is one of a significant number being provided nationally as part of the Government's initiatives announced last autumn to address the economic and employment implications of the Covid 19 pandemic.

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It added: “Getting Britain back to work as quickly as possible is vital

“Thousands of new work coaches will be at the forefront of this recovery.”

The new centre in the High Street will be an appointment only facility, manned with work coaches and security staff provided by a contractor.

Each member of the public will be allocated a specific work coach and be given an appointment time.

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The internal layout of the former store will consist of desk areas, separated by screens to ensure the privacy of one to one meetings between advisors and visitors.

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