Uncertain future for former prison

THE FUTURE for Noranside Open Prison remains uncertain as it will be placed on the open market.

The prison closed on October 31 after a review by the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) which found the facility surplus to requirements.

It has since been announced that Graham and Sibbald have been appointed by SPS to provide marketing services.

The site includes 267 acres and includes a former working farm, however, recently the land has been primarily let on seasonal agreements.

The site also contains woodland and a former market garden.

There is a B-listed main house within the grounds which is just part of the extensive network of buildings on the site which cover a total area of 8,000 square metres.

Andrew Dandie, a partner at Graham and Sibbald, said: “We would hope to be in a position to bring the property to the open market in early 2012 but early interest has been encouraging for what is a unique property.”

Many community leaders have already stated that they do not wish for the site to lie empty for any great length of time. It is feared that if this happens the buildings could be vandalised or deteriorate.

A suggestion has been made that the site could be used as a rehabilitation centre for injured service personnel.

The idea came from former Scots Guardsman Jim Ritchie and has been backed with strong support from The Black Watch Association and Provost Ruth Leslie Melville.

Despite the early support for such a facility there has not been a firm proposal and calls for a feasibility study are yet to be answered.