We’ve been left in the dark say Kirkcaldy Homebase staff

A court ruling is preventing Homebase from quitting Fife Retail Park
A court ruling is preventing Homebase from quitting Fife Retail Park

Homebase staff in Kirkcaldy have accused bosses of leaving them in the dark over a dispute which has put the store’s closure on hold.

The DIY giant, which announced it was quitting Fife Retail Park in June last year, intended to transfer the remaining seven years of its 25 year lease to CDS Superstores International Ltd, otherwise known as The Range.

The new mid-price homeware store was expected to move in by December 2014.

However, a behind-the-scenes dispute between Homebase and landlords Hammersons (Kirkcaldy) Ltd - who protested they could not approve the proposed takeover without more information - led to both parties fighting it out in court.

Recently Lord Tyre found in favour of the landlord in a Court of Session tribunal.

While Homebase considers its next move, its team of 30 employees have no idea how long they will remain in their jobs.

A source close to Homebase said staff were “desperate” for answers but management had failed to inform shop-floor workers about the dispute from day one.

He said: “Two of these court cases had taken place before staff had even been made aware of a problem with the closure.

“This was only communicated after staff members found the details of the case online.”

Likewise, staff claim bosses only told them of the court’s final judgement after being challenged.

The source said: “Staff found out about this from a number of customers, who seemed to know more about the court case than staff did.

“We were then notified [by management] that we would find out how the judgement would affect us in the next 24 hours.

“Over two weeks on - no announcement has come forth.”

Meanwhile, workers are still being pressurised into meeting targets, with falling sales due to the impending closure.

“We are now at a loss as to when we will receive an answer on when and if we will close,” he said.

“Our lives have been put on hold for over a year now.

“Local councillors seemed to be interested in helping Tesco staff with their store closure.

“No one is interested in helping Kirkcaldy Homebase staff.”

‘We support our colleagues’

A spokesman from Homebase said: “We can confirm we have received the most recent judgement in the court case involving the future of our Homebase Kirkcaldy.”

He added: “At this time our first priority is to support our store colleagues and continue to serve customers within the community. We are consulting with our advisors concerning next steps.”