Tue. Sep 26th, 2023


The Real News Network

UK’s creepy abandoned shopping centre with 40 shops untouched after 19 years

2 min read

A shopping centre boasting some 40 shops now lies abandoned 27 years after it opened.

Five Sisters Freeport Shopping Village in West Lothian, Scotland, was a premier outlet for designer gear in its heyday.

The likes of Versace, DKNY, Rockport, Levi's and Calvin Klein all set up there after the opening in 1996, but after a massive drop in trade it was forced to close its doors in 2004.

READ MORE: Inside abandoned UK morgue with embalming room that's set to become 'spooky Airbnb'

It now lies in a creepy state of disrepair, so derelict that it was even used by the BBC to film a zombie children’s show in 2015.

The 50,000sq ft shopping centre attracted more than one million visitors in its first year.

There was also a Leisureland facility with soft play, go karts, entertainment centre and many more activities for children.

But Livingston Designer Outlet opened just four miles away in 2000 and had a detrimental effect on Five Sisters.

The competition was untimely because Five Sisters' owner Freeport Leisure had hoped to extend its premises, with plans for an £18million upgrade.

It considered opening a leisure centre on the site, which would have featured ski slopes, toboggan runs, snowboarding and a children’s winter wonderland.

These plans were shelved though and in 2001 shops began to close. Freeport Leisure struggled to lure new names away from Livingston Designer Outlet.

By 2004, Freeport Leisure decided it was time to close the centre down.

Chairman of Freeport, Sean Collidge, admitted at the time that the Livingston outlet opening nearby led to the downfall.

He said: "This scheme was 100% let when it opened in 1996 and had four tremendous years. Then retail in Scotland became overpopulated in the central belt."

West Lothian Council have rejected plans to create housing in the area but say in their Local Plan that they are keen to see it redeveloped.

A spokesperson said: “The re-development, or re-use, of Westwood (Freeport), near West Calder, previously operating as a factory outlet centre, is supported by the council.

“Leisure and tourist uses, specialised employment, starter units (Class 4), or institutional uses appropriate to a rural location will be supported.

"Some element of new or extended building out with the development envelope on site and/or housing (very low density and a maximum of 30 houses meriting a rural location, all confined to the development envelope) will be considered, where this is shown to be necessary in terms of the financial viability of an appropriate scheme.”

For the latest breaking news and stories from across the globe from the Daily Star, sign up for our newsletter by clicking here.


  • Drug cartel's leaked book of 19 rules savage hitmen must obey — including 'no swearing'

  • King Charles 'will be wearing £2.5m crown' as he leaves Westminster Abbey at Coronation

  • Teenager dies after falling and 'impaling eye on goal post' in freak PE accident

Source: Read Full Article