Five Sisters Freeport Shopping Village opened in 1996, with over 40 stores, claiming to be Scotland’s premier new outlet for designer clothing.
An empty and deserted shopping mall 25 years after its main opening.
Five Sisters Freeport Shopping Village opened in West Lothian, Scotland, in 1996, with over 40 stores, claiming to be Scotland’s premier new outlet for designer clothing.
But after a major drop by 2004, Freeport Leisure decided it was time to close the position and close the store.
The site has since been deserted, with the BBC using it to film a zombie show for kids in 2015, Edinburgh Live reports.
The 50,000-square-foot shopping center attracted more than 1 million visitors in its first year and promised to expand to include more recreational facilities, such as an ice center and golf course.
The place was open seven days a week from 10am and had top brands including Versace, DKNY, Calvin Klein, Rockport and Levis.
They also have a Leisureland facility, with soft toys, go-karts, an entertainment center and many other activities for kids.
There were two other cafes and restaurants on site to ensure that all of their customers’ needs were met.
One year after Freeport Leisure opened they even wanted to expand the building.
A planning request has been sent to the West Lothian Council for a £18m upgrade to the recreation centre.
The snow center was supposed to include ski slopes, toboggan runs, snowboarding, and a winter wonderland for children.
But that idea, and a new golf course and running field, never materialized as Freeport’s fortunes began to turn quickly.
The new Livingston Designer Outlet made a huge impact on the store when it opened in 2000.
Customers are starting to turn away in droves, and tenants have moved their stores to the new outlet in Livingston.
The decline was rapid and within just a year in 2001 most of the shops were closed and some were offering discounted clearance sales and preparing to leave.
By 2004, Freeport Leisure decided it was time to close the position and they closed the store.
Freeport’s president, Sean Coolidge, admitted at the time that the opening of a nearby Livingston outlet was their downfall.
He said: “This scheme was allowed 100 per cent when it opened in 1996 and had a massive four-year run. Then retail in Scotland became very populous in the Central Belt.”
West Lothian Council has rejected plans for housing in the area, but said in their local scheme they are keen to redevelop it.
A company spokesperson said: “The redevelopment or reuse of Westwood (Freeport), near West Calder, which formerly served as the outlet center for the plant, is supported by the Council.
Recreational and tourism uses, specialist staffing, start-up units (Category 4), or appropriate institutional uses of a rural location will be supported.
“Some elements of new or extended construction will be considered with the on-site development envelope and/or housing (very low density max of 30 homes deserving of a rural site, all confined to the development envelope), as deemed necessary in terms of the financial viability of an adequate system” .