Bids for shopping centre to start at 1

Columbia Image copyright The Postings

A shopping centre in Kirkcaldy, Fife, is to be auctioned off with a reserve price of just £1 after it failed to attract enough tenants.

The Postings mall, in which 14 of its 21 shops lie vacant, is being sold by pension fund Columbia Threadneedle next month.

It follows a spate of retail closures in the town as shopping increasingly moves online.

Local Labour MP Lesley Laird said the decision had come as “no surprise”.

The Postings opened in 1981, having cost £4.25m to build, and attracted a number of big name retailers throughout the 1990s.

However, as footfall has dwindled businesses have deserted the 7,489 sq m mall, with Tesco pulling the plug in 2015, despite protestations from former local MP and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Situated just 70m off the local High Street, the mall boasts a 299-space car park and good transport links, according to the auctioneer’s website.

But the cost of the annual upkeep of the site is now thought to be higher than the £152,000 it generates from rent, prompting Columbia’s decision to sell.

“There is an urgent need for the Postings to be redeveloped, not only to reinvigorate the site itself, but as a key part of a composite town centre strategy to combat the raft of store closures Kirkcaldy has suffered of late,” said Ms Laird.

It follows a tough year for retailers, with a rash of big chains having announced closures because of lower demand.

Casualties have included Maplin, Toys R Us, Jamie’s Italian and Poundworld among others. Just this week Marks and Spencer named the next 17 stores it plans to shut as part of a reorganisation plan, having already earmarked 38 sites – including the Kirkcaldy branch – for closure.

Columbia Threadneedle said it viewed the Postings as a development opportunity and that the knock-down price tag had created a lot of interest.

“The reserve price of £1 is generating significant attention and we expect to get a considerable amount at the auction,” the company said.

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