Kingdom Centre, Glenrothes
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Kingdom Centre, Glenrothes

The administrative capital of Fife, Glenrothes is a 'new town' situated on the River Leven between Leslie and Markinch. Developed during the 1950s and 1960s on the principles of a 'Garden City' style layout of well-landscaped, low-rise suburban housing, its planners originally envisaged a target population of 32,000. Distinct areas (known as precincts) were established for industrial and residential use; residential areas had their own facilities and most are characterised by numerous cul-de-sacs to discourage through traffic, while some areas feature American street names (Baltimore, Boston, Detroit, Newark and Wilmington) indicating the source of early investment. The principal purpose of the town was to accommodate workers for the Rothes 'Super' Colliery, which began production in 1957, with a hundred years of predicted reserves, but which closed only five years later due to geological difficulties and with much embarrassment. Although the town grew up adjacent to existing paper mills, new sources of employment were required and by the 1970s the town had gained a 'Silicon Glen' reputation for its hi-tech industries. A wide range of food processing, light engineering and technology-related industries are located on its Whitehill, Viewfield, Queensway, Bankhead and Southfield industrial estates and a major town centre retail complex has been developed at the Kingdom Centre. Defence contractor Raytheon Systems remains the principal manufacturing employer in the town, but the other major source of employment, the paper industry, suffered when Smith Anderson moved to Kirkcaldy in 2007 and Tullis Russell went into receivership in 2015. In 1975 Glenrothes superseded Cupar as administrative capital of Fife and Fife Council is now the town's largest employer. By the 21st C. the town was in need of some regeneration, indeed Glenrothes was named the most dismal place in Scotland in the 2009 Carbuncle Awards.

To the north of the River Leven, Greater Glenrothes incorporates the districts of Formonthills, Coul, Pitcairn, Collydean, Balgeddie, Whinnyknowe, Leslie Parks, Forester's Lodge, Pitcoudie, Balfarg, Cadham, Mount Frost, Balbirnie Burns and Prestonhall. To the south of the river lie the districts of Macedonia, South Parks, Queensway, Auchmuty, Woodside, Eastfield, Pitteuchar, Viewfield, Rimbleton, Caskieberran, Tanshall, Newcastle, Goatmilk, Whitehill, Southfield, Finglassie, Stenton, Bankhead and Bankhead West. Most of these districts are named after the farms which preceded them.

The town is well endowed with greenspace, parks and playing fields which include the Balbirnie Park, Carleton Park, Gilvenbank Park, Lochty Park, Over Stenton Park, Riverside Park, Tanshall Park and Warout Wood, together with Formonthills Woodland and Coul Den Local Nature Reserve to the north of the town. There is a 22.6 ha (56 acre) airfield at Goatmilk, a swimming pool and sports centre adjacent to Fife College at Viewfield, the Lomond Community Recreation Centre at Woodside, Stenton Community Centre, Glenrothes Hospital at Forester's Lodge, a bowling green at Tanshall Park and three 18-hole golf courses at Balbirnie, Goatmilk and Leslie.

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