Update on Glenrothes town centre regeneration plan

Albany Gate, Glenrothes
Albany Gate, Glenrothes

The plans to regenerate the town centre will be discussed when the Glenrothes Area Committee meets today (Wednesday).

Councillors will be given an update on progress relating to specific action points highlighted by the agreed Town Centre Action Plan.

Particular focus will be given to the long-term future of Albany Gate area of the town which includes the former Co-op building which as already been earmarked as a potential site for redevelopment.

The former Co-op building, which was build in 1964, was recently included on a council list of dilapidated buildings earmarked for urgent attention.

Amongst the discussions will be feedback on the Council’s preferred design concept for the area for which an architect has been appointed to produce a proposal for the site.

Short-term measures to improve the outer appearance of the former department store at ground level will also be discussed.

The committee will consider the possibility of large vinyl coverings to the windows which would give the appearance of an occupied shop as part of an immediate redressing of the area.

Local maps, information and locally generated artwork could also be a possibility.

Councillor Altany Craik, chairman of the Glenrothes Area Committee said plans for developing and improving two former Co-op stores at either end of the shopping centre where an “achievable priority”.

“LaSalle Investment Management Company who now control the centre have been positive in their desire to move redevelopment forward,” said Mr Craik.

“There are many aspects of the long-term regeneration plans which will take longer to bring to fruition but there are immediate cosmetic improvements that we can put in place.

“We want to make sure that they tie in with Lasalle’s future plans. They have been very responsive so far and have shown a genuine desire to invest in the area, as part of their future plans,” he added.

A grant support scheme for independent businesses allowing tenants to improve frontages, interiors and marketing is also to be offered.

LaSalle Investment Management acquired the Kingdom Centre from AXA Real Estate Investment Management for £34.3m last year.

The 430,000 sq ft centre attracts approximately eight million visitors a year.

At the time of the deal, Simon Usher, associate director of LaSalle Investment Management, said: “The Kingdom Centre is a quality shopping centre in the heart of Glenrothes with a loyal catchment.

“It has the potential to pursue a focused letting strategy bringing in additional new retailers and amalgamating existing units to provide better retail and leisure space.”

In December last year Tesco confirmed they would not be building a supermarket in Glenrothes after a decade long saga over a proposed new store to be built in the town centre.