Calls for moves to make derelict factory building safe

DEMANDS are being made for a derelict biscuit factory, now deemed dangerous, to be made safe.

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The former Gray Dunn factory in Stanley Street, Kinning Park has been targeted repeatedly by metal thieves, graffiti artists and vandals.

Now, as our photos show, whole sections of the near 140-year-old building are lying strewn in the road.

And until recently, damaged brickwork and debris had been lying unsecured.

Stephen Dornan – of the independent Glasgow First ticket – who represents the area on the city council is calling for action. He said: "I raised this with building control weeks ago because local businesses were worried that the building was dangerous.

"All the windows have been smashed and debris is being blown in and out.

"Youngsters can be attracted to this kind of building and it really isn’t safe for them.

"I am quite concerned about the dangers and really want to see something done here.

"I am concerned that something could fly off the building and on to the nearby M8 … and that could kill someone."

Council bosses today insisted the concrete-framed structure was in no danger of collapsing.

But a spokesman confirmed the building had been vandalised, including damage by graffiti artists breaking in to spray paint the walls and ceilings.

He added: "We are in regular contact with the owners to find a permanent solution to the problem. Our building control team has put a safety exclusion zone around the building to protect it from the attacks."

The building has a long history. Gray Dunn were Kinning Park-based biscuit makers, the firm being founded in 1853.

They put up a factory in Stanley Street in 1882 after being granted Royal Appointment by Queen Victoria

That building was destroyed by fire 13 years later but replaced on site.

Dunn's continued making biscuits, cakes and breads until 1912 when the firm was sold to the Bilsland Bakery.

In 2008 it was announced that the Gray Dunn factory, which overlooks the M8, would be transformed into an office development and self-storage building after being bought over by Equiom Trust Company and Personal Storage Developments Glasgow LLP from Ivyhouse Investments.

No one from the company was available to comment.

At the time it looked like Kinning Park would be a prime area for redevelopment given the number of empty buildings in the area, the building of the M74 extension and the improvements to the nearby Clyde waterfront.

At the time of the purchase, Virginia Beckett, associate director (Capital Markets) for CB Richard Ellis, said: "The Kinning Park Area of Glasgow has great prospects for commercial re-development.

"It is served by two underground stations and is immediately adjacent and accessible to the M8, M77 and proposed M74 extension, on the edge of Glasgow’s Central Business District."

Mark Shaw, adviser to Equiom, added that the company was "very excited at the prospect of creating a modern, accessible and high-profile office building where we can offer large floorplates, and savings on city centre rents".

Since then the building, which covers more than four acres in Kinning Park, has been boarded up. Thieves have stripped out copper and lead piping.

As our photos show, the brickwork to the Stanley Street side of the factory has been demolished and plywood boards designed to protect the building are hanging loose.

catriona.stewart@eveningtimes.co.uk

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