A run-down shopping centre which was listed for auction with a guide price of just £1 has been sold.
The Postings in Kirkcaldy opened in 1981 and was once home to some of the biggest names in retail but has struggled with declining footfall since Tesco shut its store in the Fife town centre in February 2015.
Now just seven of The Postings’ 21 shop units are occupied, while the building’s crumbling public realm has led to a flight of stairs being cordoned off by the council under safety concerns.
It was with these issues in mind that owners Columbia Threadneedle, a pension fund, listed the entire complex for sale last year with an eye-catchingly low reserve price.
Today a mystery telephone bidder secured The Postings and its 299-space car park with a bid of £310,000 at a commercial property auction in London.
Acclaimed crime novelist Val McDermid, who grew up in Kirkcaldy, said the relatively low sale price was “painful to see” and indicative of a wider decline in the area’s retail offering.
“This used to be one of the heartbeats of Kirkcaldy High Street,” the writer said in a tweet. “Now the whole area feels like it’s on life support. Really painful to see.”
Kirkcaldy MSP David Torrance said: “Great to hear the Postings has sold for £310,000 this afternoon.
“The new owner has the opportunity to invest in its redevelopment for the benefit of the town centre and the local community. The sale is a great opportunity to provide badly needed refurbishment to the centre.”
The Postings first made headlines four years ago when local residents began a campaign with the aim of persuading Tesco to retain its store in the shopping centre, winning the backing of former prime minister and Kirkcaldy MP Gordon Brown in the process.
Despite a well-attended public demonstration, the retail giant pulled the plug on its Postings store along with 42 others in the UK that year.
A Columbia Threadneedle spokesperson said: “We are pleased that The Postings has moved on to a new owner who can hopefully reposition and revitalise it to the benefit of the local community.”