Iconic industrial landmark threatened with demolition

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The Nairn Building has lain empty since 1985

PART of Scotland’s industrial heritage is set to be destroyed after plans emerged to demolish a Fife lino factory.

Nairn’s Linoleum Works greeted visitors to Kirkcaldy with its “queer-like smell” from 1882 until production moved to another site in 1985.

Previous attempts have been made to transform the building into a community space and the building was even promoted by Michael Portillo on the TV show Restoration.

But after laying empty for 25 years, Scottish Enterprise has lodged plans with the local council to raze the dilapidated factory.

A report has concluded that the buildings could possibly be repaired but states the ”excessive associated costs will render their repair and restoration unviable.”

It states: ”The loss of the listed building will be regrettable. However, its restoration is not economically viable and is actively preventing the regeneration of the overall site.

”The loss will be mitigated by the substantial benefits that will be derived from the regeneration of the site and the wider local area.”

Waste

Experts say sealing the property against the elements would cost £1 million, while a full refurbishment would cost £2.35m.

Carrying out minimum repairs would cost the taxpayer more than £600,000.

While official policy says that listed buildings should not be demolished unless every effort has been made to save it, Scottish Enterprise says the fact the building has been marketed for 21 years means it should go.

Kirkcaldy MSP David Torrance welcomed the plans, adding that is was a ”complete waste” to keep spending money on the factory.

”I’ve had so many constituents complain about that side ofVictoria Roadand it’s costing taxpayers a fortune to keep that scaffolding up, so this is a great opportunity,” he said.

”I’m quite glad to see this application come forward, and the removal of that building will make that site far more attractive for developers.

”Victoria Roadhas been an area of dereliction on the left-hand side for too long and the demolition of this building will release its potential. It could be housing or shops — all I’m interested in is seeing the burden of a building which is no good to anybody removed.”

The town was originally home to six linoleum factories.

The disused building has been subject to a number of planning applications over the years.

In the 1990s it was planned to turn the site into a supermarket and housing.

In 2004 proposals for a museum and business centre were ditched and plans to spend £7.5 million turning the factory into a library, museum and archive centre fell through due to a lack of funding.

 

 

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