Once-thriving UK shopping centre now guarded compound with dogs and spiked fence

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    The inside of a once-thriving UK shopping centre left to rot after going out of business has been revealed… sort of.

    The West Lothian Shopping Centre had around 40 shops, including Versace, DKNY, Calvin Klein, Rockport and Levis, and was hailed as Scotland's premier outlet when it opened in 1996.

    Located between Edinburgh and Glasgow, it also also had a Leisureland facility, with soft play, go karts, entertainment centre and many more activities for children.

    And an £18 million upgrade was approved just one year after it opened.

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    This would have included a snow centre, with ski slops and a children's wonderland, as well as a golf course and putting range.

    But the Livingston Designer Outlet suffered a tragic demise, with the vast majority of big-name shops evntually fleeing the site not long after its opening.

    And the entire site, owned by Freeport, was closed in 2004 – just a little more than eight years after it opened.

    However, this week Edinburgh Live's Abbie Meehan took a trip to the 50,000 square-foot site to see what she could find.

    She said: “Upon arrival, signs told us that the site was under surveillance, and that there was no availability to get inside and look around the area.

    “However, looking through the fence still gave some insight into what the place would've looked like all those years ago.

    “A large building with a clock face on it is the first thing you see peering through, with buildings shaped like the walls of a castle surrounding it.

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    “There is no other road into the area other than the one that is fenced off – keeping all visitors out.

    “Keeping the infamous centre safe, and avoiding damage or vandalism is the main aim of this fence – and we can see why.”

    Abbie never made it inside, as the area is heavily guarded.

    However, pictures taken of the exterior parts she could find show that it is in surprisingly good condition for a place that hasn't really been used – except by the BBC for a zombie-themed children's show in 2015 – since 2004.

    As it stands, there are no plans to redevelop the site, although West Lothian Council has rejected plans to create housing in the area.

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    The most recent comments on it came from a local council spokesman a few years ago.

    They said: “Leisure and tourist uses, specialised employment, starter units (Class 4), or institutional uses appropriate to a rural location will be supported.

    “Some element of new or extended building with the development envelope on site and/or housing – with very low density and a maximum of 30 houses meriting a rural location, all confined to the development envelope – will be considered, where this is shown to be necessary in terms of the financial viability of an appropriate scheme.”

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