THREE town centre buildings formerly owned by property developer Bill Fletcher have been sold at auction for almost £500,000.

Another was bought for an undisclosed sum and a deal for a fifth could be completed in the next few days.

All five premises were made available by insolvency firm BDO – the firm that helped prevent Dunfermline Athletic from going out of business – and went under the hammer in Glasgow last Thursday at a sale organised by SVA Property Auctions.

12 Abbey Park Place was sold for £242,000, 1-3 High Street – site of the old tourist information office – went for £130,000 and 21-25 James Street fetched £114,000.

4-8 Abbot Street was sold after the auction and East Port House attracted no bids, although there is interest from buyers.

Shaun Vigers, of SVA Property Auctions, said: “It was a successful sale from our point of view. There were a number of people bidding for all bar one of the Dunfermline properties so we’re pleased with the overall outcome.

“The four lots sold were acquired by property investors and developers based both locally and from further afield.”

The former offices at Abbot Street, identified recently as a possible project for the Design Dunfermline team, were owned previously by Fife Council and were sold in 2006 for £281,250.

It’s thought they went for a substantially lower price last week but Mr Vigers said: “I can’t give you figures for Abbot Street, it was sold post auction and those sums don’t get publicised. It didn’t get to its reserve price but after the auction an offer was made that was acceptable to the clients.

"As far as East Port House is concerned, under the hammer there were no bids. However, I’ve since had two notes of interest so we’re in discussions with two parties.”

Mr Vigers expects the buildings’ new owners to move quickly and said: “At Abbey Park Place, the intention there will be to let the rest of the accommodation and then hold as an investment and receive the income.

“It could be a very attractive income stream with a return north of 10 per cent, better than you’ll get from any bank.

“At High Street and James Street, I think the upper floors will be converted to residential and a move made to get tenants for the ground floor.

“That’s what I’d expect although obviously I can’t speak for them.

“Abbot Street is different. That needs a big chunk of money invested in it and I’d expect someone to go to planning for a change of use. It had been mentioned as residential or a boutique hotel but they may have a totally different idea.”

The five properties were previously owned by Mr Fletcher, the former chairman of Dunfermline Delivers, and his wife, Elaine, through companies that ran into financial difficulties two years ago.

They were sole directors of Linklever Ltd which went into receivership in August 2016. Two of their other companies, Linklever Investments Ltd and Linklever (Scotland) Ltd, went into administration the same month.

Collectively, the three organisations owned a broad portfolio of properties in Dunfermline, including the old Duracord factory in Pilmuir Street, East Port House and numerous buildings in High Street, Abbot Street, Bridge Street and Bruce Street.

Their other companies – Linklever Group, Axis Heights Ltd and Linklever Developments Ltd – continue to trade normally.