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Warnings as kids ignore derelict factory security

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
Warnings as kids ignore derelict factory security

A CALL has been made to preserve and protect a derelict Dumfries factory — despite security efforts this week failing to stop children accessing the site.

Fresh reports of youngsters entering the former Interfloor factory at Heathhall came at the weekend after fencing was erected, windows were boarded up and security patrols stepped up at the site.

Noting children have been able to slip through cordons, Police Scotland said: “It cannot be stated highly enough that any industrial site makes for an extremely dangerous playground and the public are thanked for their help in reporting intruders over the weekend, and they should continue to do so.”

A multi-agency task force has been set up to tackle safety concerns at the site, following two fires in the space of three days last month.

And it has led to police and community warden patrols being stepped up to check the perimeter both day and night.

Inspector Gordon McKnight said: “The site at Interfloor has been fenced off for very good reasons and is clearly a dangerous place to go into.

“I would urge parents to ensure they highlight this to any children who might think of venturing into the area.”

However, Martin Robertson from the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland is arguing against any opinion being formed that the building is ‘dangerous, ugly and should be removed’.

He said: “It is easily the most important building in Heathhall in terms of architectural and engineering history.”

Mr Robertson says the entire former Arrol-Johnston car factory is B-listed, designed by Albert Kahn Associates of Detroit who also designed the 1910 Ford Motor Company plant in Michigan, USA.

And arguing that its patented system of steel reinforced concrete beams and posts might be the earliest example in Scotland or even the UK, Mr Robertson said: “All together this building is one of the first examples of Modernism in Scotland, of deliberately expressed purpose with no frills, and is an important part of our heritage which will suffer a significant loss if it is allowed to go.”


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