Glenrothes (listen (help·info); , glen-ROTH-iss; Scots: Glenrothes; Scottish Gaelic: Gleann Rathais) is a town situated in the heart of Fife, in east-central Scotland. It is about 30 miles (48 km) north of Edinburgh and 30 miles (48 km) south of Dundee. The town had a population of 39,277 in the 2011 census, making it the third largest settlement in Fife and the 18th most populous settlement in Scotland. The name Glenrothes comes from its historical link with the Earl of Rothes, who owned much of the land on which the new town has been built; “Glen” (Scottish for valley) was added to the name to avoid confusion with Rothes in Moray and in recognition that the town lies in a river valley. The motto of Glenrothes is Ex terra vis, meaning “From the earth strength”, which dates back to the founding of the town.
Planned in the late 1940s as one of Scotland’s first post-second world war new towns, its original purpose was to house miners who were to work at a newly established coal mine, the Rothes Colliery. After the mine closed, the town developed as an important industrial centre in Scotland’s Silicon Glen between 1961 and 2000, with several major electronics and hi-tech companies setting up facilities in the town. The Glenrothes Development Corporation (GDC), a quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisation, was established to develop, manage and promote the new town. The GDC, supported by the local authority, oversaw the governance of Glenrothes until the GDC was wound up in 1995, after which all responsibility was transferred to Fife Council.
Glenrothes is a major service centre and is the administrative capital of Fife, containing the headquarters of both Fife Council and Police Scotland Fife Division. It is a centre for excellence within the high-tech electronics and manufacturing sectors; several organisations have their global headquarters in Glenrothes. Public services and service industries are also important to the town’s economy. Major employers include Bosch Rexroth (hydraulics manufacturing), Fife College (education), Leviton [former Brand-Rex] (fibre optics manufacturing) and Raytheon (defence and electronics). Glenrothes is unique in Fife as much of the town centre floorspace is internalised within Fife’s largest shopping centre, the Kingdom Shopping Centre. Public facilities include a regional sports and leisure centre, two golf courses, major parks, a civic centre and theatre and a college campus.