Three years on, and Kirkcaldy's old pool still stands silent
While work goes on to regenerate Kirkcaldy's waterfront, there are still as yet no firm plans for the town's former swimming pool.
Improvements have recently been made to the long-ignored Esplanade, with the completion of the £9m seawall, the building of a new, modern apartment block with stunning views of the Forth and last month’s launch of ‘Operation Waterfront’ which aims to introduce a whole range of imaginative new projects to the area.
But the former pool, which closed three years ago in August 2013, has yet to play a part in any improvements.
The Press understands that in the six months since we last reported on its fate, negotiations between Fife Council and the building’s owners LaSalle Investment Management have gone quiet.
Mercat owners, LaSalle, signed a five year lease on the building in November 2013 upon taking ownership of the site from Fife Council.
Speaking at the time Simon Usher, associate director, promised the building would not be left to become an eyesore.
He said: “We are currently looking at a number of alternative uses for it such as leisure – for example having a cinema in Kirkcaldy is one of the obvious things that people want.
“It is not our intention to leave the building derelict.”
But nearly three years later the building remains empty and unused, with no sign of any development.
It had been hoped that the building would be transformed into that much longed for cinema but lengthy negotiations, which were well underway with cinema company Vue, also appear to have dried up.
Alasdair Rankin, lead professional (property investment and development) at Fife Council said developing the site was proving to be a challenge.
He said: “We continue to engage with LaSalle Investment Management to understand and assist where we can with their interest to develop the ex-swimming pool site.
“Devising a financially viable development proposal remains a difficult challenge but all parties continue to dedicate resources to establish what realistically can be achieved.”
Mr Rankin said he was still hopeful that the building could be redeveloped.
“We still believe development on this site could provide the necessary catalyst to Kirkcaldy town centre to provide wider improvements to town centre occupier profile and increased footfall,” he said.
The Press contacted LaSalle to discuss the current situation with the empty building but received no reply.