New era as demolition starts on old Hyundai plant

Published: 20 Apr 2011 14:1926 comments

A NEW industrial era dawned for Dunfermline this week when work started on demolishing the former Hyundai/Motorola 'white elephant' site.

There have been false dawns in the past and unfulfilled promises over microchip jobs but now the Newcastle-based Shepherd brothers, Freddy and Bruce, are determined the site's potential will finally be realised as a hub for the renewables sector.

The decommisioning work will be completed by the end of this year and a masterplan for the site will be drawn up by August.

Shepherd Offshore have already created a renewables hub on Tyneside and want to do the same in West Fife on the 150-acre site, eventually creating up to 10,000 jobs.

With Shepherd Offshore on board and an anchor tenant to follow, the Dunfermline plant will be perfectly placed to tap into Scottish Government NRIP (National Renewables Investment Programme) cash which will help pave the way for investment and jobs.

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown was guest of honour and looked on with the Shepherd brothers as the bulldozers moved in.

Freddy Shepherd, former chairman of Newcastle United, told the Press he had decided within 24 hours of visiting the Halbeath site for the first time to buy it.

That decisiveness and eagerness to move things on is a key characteristic of the Shepherd brothers.

They were surprised to hear the site's history but were delighted to find a base so well located for transport links, adjacent to the M90, with a new road bridge being constructed over the Forth and the port of Rosyth nearby.

The Shepherds have been regular visitors to Dunfermline over recent months. Freddy joked, "The Dobbies cafe has become our board room.

"They know us well over there."

While the massive factory space is coming down the three-storey office block is remaining in place.

The Shepherds had hoped that the factory could be saved from demolition.

"People had said nothing can be done with it but you think maybe you can find a use.

"In the end we accepted it had to come down," said Freddy.

"This is a great site in Dunfermline and I've fallen in love with it.

"Everyone else has failed with their plans so I was determined we would go ahead with this and bring the factory down.

"We had a lot of help from the council in Newcastle and we'll hopefully get the same from Fife Council."

He said that when the equipment in the factory was auctioned recently 90 per cent of registrations came from the Far East.

Mr Shepherd said there would not be any "metal bashing" on the Halbeath site but rather it would be used for work such as manufacturing gearboxes.

The former Prime Minister was accompanied by Newcastle MP Nick Brown, Dunfermline and West Fife MP Thomas Docherty and Labour's candidate for Dunfermline in the forthcoming Socttish elections, Alex Rowley.

Gordon Brown said, "This is a great day for Fife.

"We have a committed company in the Shepherd Offshore Group. The goal must be to create 10,000 jobs and this can be the next stage of Fife's economic development.

"This is yet another endorsement of Fife as a key centre for renewable and high technology industry."

Mr Docherty said, "I'm delighted the demolition work has finally begun and I can't believe it's coming down at last."

Tony Martin, Fife Council chair of environment, enterprise and transportation, said he was delighted to see progress towards jobs.

He had been there back at the very start when Tory minister Michael (now Lord) Forsyth performed the sod-cutting ceremony in the 1990s.

"That was a long time ago and I remember him making some joke about chips back then," said Mr Martin.

Mr Rowley, Labour group leader on Fife Council, said, "What we need to see is that we will again be a manufacturing sector economy and we will create part of that here in Dunfermline and we have people who are absolutely committed to do that."

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  • Tam the Bam
    Unregistered User
    Apr 20, 16:25
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    Gordon Brown and his labour cronies should hang their head in shame.

    Recommend?   Yes 2     No 1

  • Spam-Heed
    Unregistered User
    Apr 20, 16:47
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    Nae the cooncils fault?







    Oh come, come there must be a blame somewhere in there for FC............

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  • buster1888
    18 posts
    Apr 20, 17:11
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    the site was full of brand new machines when he bought it.who gets the money through the sale of these itemsas he only payed pennies for the site.

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  • anne
    Unregistered User
    Apr 20, 17:16
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    Gordon Brown and his labour cronies should hang their head in shame.... for what? Helping to bring 10,000 to Dunfermline. Gosh how awful!

    Recommend?   Yes 0     No 2

  • Peter
    Unregistered User
    Apr 20, 17:39
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    Amazon would have been in there years ago if Jack McConnell had not stopped inward investment grants

    Recommend?   Yes 1     No 1

  • Tam the Bam
    Unregistered User
    Apr 20, 19:14
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    Anne, explain yourself - 10,000 what exactly? I can assure you it aint 10,000 jobs!



    Yes Peter, you are right, McConnell was also to blame for this fiasco. The cost to the Fife economy has run into many millions, and for what? To demolish it for what will essentially be nothing more than a shed! Nice one Labour.

    Recommend?   Yes 3     No 0

  • beaker
    Unregistered User
    Apr 20, 21:46
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    this is a great day for fife, what a plonker. ended boom and bust, labour left this country bankrupt , but you have got to give them ten out of ten for their gall.

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  • anne
    Unregistered User
    Apr 20, 21:55
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    Sorry typo should have typed 10,000 jobs but would have thought that if you had actually read the article you would have been able to work that out.



    "Shepherd Offshore have already created a renewables hub on Tyneside and want to do the same in West Fife on the 150-acre site, eventually creating up to 10,000 jobs."

    Recommend?   Yes 1     No 0

  • Tell the Truth Alex
    Unregistered User
    Apr 20, 22:51
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    Rowley & Brown are 'peas in a pod'!







    They made sure that no one from any other party was invited - dispicable, underhand and devious. come on Alex - tell the truth!

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  • beaker
    Unregistered User
    Apr 20, 22:54
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    you would think in this day we could dismantle a 200 million pound building in a more eco friendly manner, rather than a bulldozer and landfill.

    Recommend?   Yes 0     No 1

  • TransientPlaces
    Unregistered User
    Apr 20, 23:11
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    The thing is almost solid concrete - I can't think of any way to demolish such a building apart from a bulldozer. A lot of the equipment was auctioned off before Shepherd bought the site.







    This was the site last month:



    http://www.catchingphotons.co.uk/blog/?p=579







    And this was it a year ago:



    http://www.catchingphotons.co.uk/blog/?p=91

    Recommend?   Yes 2     No 0

  • dadsanarab
    Unregistered User
    Apr 21, 06:52
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    What is renewables? Is this another name for a big rubbish dump?

    Recommend?   Yes 1     No 1

  • keepoofthelawn
    Unregistered User
    Apr 21, 11:20
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    Duloch was built to fund this remember. The Government bought up the farms and then parceled the land to developers for loads of money. No Hyundai plant and Duloch would still be farm land and Abbeyview a poophole.

    Recommend?   Yes 1     No 0

  • beaker
    Unregistered User
    Apr 21, 12:15
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    great photos transientplaces, it brings home the utter waste of taxpayers money.

    Recommend?   Yes 1     No 0

  • Jo Hardy
    Unregistered User
    Apr 21, 12:43
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    This was a total waste of money and resources-SHAME ON ALL CONCERNED!!

    Recommend?   Yes 1     No 0

  • Paddy O Doors
    Unregistered User
    Apr 21, 13:12
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    Spam Heed:



    Some of it was indeed the coonsil's fault when they allowed 25 years worth of housing to be built and £300million worth of road infrastructure without one single job coming from The Big White Elephant.



    They could have written conditions into the planning approval stating that no housing is to be constructed until the factory begun churning out chips or whatever, but funnily enough there was no conditions on this approval at all from what I've been lead to believe.



    If they'd have done it that way, locals couldn't complain about the noise from the factory or any new extensions that may have been built as it was already there and was a going concern.



    Wait till they start demolishing the existing building and erecting the new units etc. as to how many complaints there will be!



    The Amazon building being constructed is a perfect example of NIMBY-ism as the locals are moaning their heads off about it.



    And yes Spam Heed I do love firing it in aboot the coonsil, coz they couldnae organise a you know what in a brewery!



    The Big White Elephant proves that they don't have a clue and they unfortunately roped the Scottish Government and the residents of Dunfermline into their land of make believe also!

    Recommend?   Yes 0     No 1

  • Tam the Bam
    Unregistered User
    Apr 21, 13:19
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    Anne, you're missing the point.... AGAIN!



    Until there have been the claimed 10,000 jobs created at this site, then I suggest you keep your flapper well and truly shut. It wasn't so long ago that your meally moothed pal Gordon Broon and his cronies at Fife Council were crowing about the number of highly skilled and therefore highly paid jobs Hyundai would create.... several years later and XX millions down the pan and now we're demolishing it to build a warehouse employing part-timers on minimum wage. NOW do you understand?!

    Recommend?   Yes 0     No 0

  • Tam the Bam
    Unregistered User
    Apr 21, 13:27
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    Oh, and as for Shepherd Offshore - take a look at their website. They don't appear to have much experience in manufacturing Wind Turbines - they handle LOGISTICS SUPPORT! It looks to me as if this is just another ploy to con the taxpayer out of millions in subsidies, only to pull out just as the market collapses. End result, yet another white elephant for the town.

    Recommend?   Yes 2     No 1

  • Spam-Heed
    Unregistered User
    Apr 21, 14:17
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    Waaaaaaaaaayyyyyy Tam, glad you managed it somehow!

    Recommend?   Yes 0     No 0

  • This comment has been removed by our moderation team because it didn't meet our community guidelines.

  • buster1888
    18 posts
    Apr 21, 16:39
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    first to go was unused reels of heavy copper cable down to sunderland.go on to web and see how much money was made with metal before you keep removing moderator.i know i worked there.

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  • lennon_18
    Unregistered User
    Apr 21, 20:57
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    TransientPlaces- where are the rest of the posts on your 28dayslater report on this place? Some VERY valid points were made there.

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  • TransientPlaces
    Unregistered User
    Apr 21, 22:36
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    True - though the older report on 28DL has been archived, I think there were more comments:



    http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=48551



    http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=58814







    I certainly got the impression that most of the easily-removable equipment had been auctioned off before Shepherd bought the site - it had auction stickers on it in March 2010, and had mostly gone by March 2011.

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  • DB Resident
    Unregistered User
    Apr 22, 07:59
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    of course the redevelopment relies on the continued subsidy of the renewables sector...with wind turbines being pretty low down the efficiency table...







    Brown is a moron - since he bankrupted us and destroyed the country with his failed social engineering programme he has been remarkably (and thankfully) silent, pausing only to associate himself with something "positive". Gordon, why are you no longer representing your constituents properly, why are you invisible to us and why dont you simply take the solid gold pension you have most definately not earned and do something off your own back and not funded by the public purse.

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  • Not Happy Jan
    Unregistered User
    Apr 27, 23:45
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    LOL, I am honoured that somebody has been nicking my Monica.

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  • Jayc182
    66 posts
    May 1, 06:47
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    Oh.... did not know the upper classes such as Jan use text abreviated slang, making an idiot of yourself hen

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  • jonty0975
    Unregistered User
    May 3, 11:01
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    What a shame for the local economy, but with the Shepherd Brothers moving in, it will create a lot of jobs in a booming safe and green industry. Just look at all the manufacturing facilities closing across the U.K. Bosch, Cadbury, Ford, we need to move to the renewables market and new emerging industries. At least it looks like a good reputable demolition contractor bringing down the building, I have been on the Website of G O'Brien and Sons who appear to be carrying out the demolition, they look to have a good fleet of new machines. Lets look to the future and what the Shepherd Brothers will bring to the area.

    Recommend?   Yes 1     No 1

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