Work to start on The Storehouse, Kirkwall
Work to renew an historic property in the centre of Kirkwall starts soon, with the helping hand of a heritage scheme supported by Orkney Islands Council.
With a grant from the Kirkwall Townscape Heritage Initiative (KTHI), local husband and wife team Judith Glue and David Spence are developing the former Storehouse in Bridge Street Wynd, Kirkwall into a ‘restaurant with rooms’. They are pictured below out the front of the property.
Local firm Casey Construction Ltd are due to start work on the 19th century B listed building at the beginning of April. The project will take around 14 months to complete opening in the summer of 2018.
In the past the building has been used for curing herring, and as a print works and stationery store.
The Kirkwall THI is aimed at helping to conserve and renew the built heritage of the town’s historic core for the benefit of local communities and businesses. It’s funded by Historic Environment Scotland, The Heritage Lottery Fund and Orkney Islands Council.
It offers grants for property owners to bring vacant space within the Kirkwall Conservation Area back into use, or to carry out building repairs or restoration of architectural detail.
Since the Kirkwall THI started in 2014, 31 property grants have been agreed. £1,616,197 of KTHI grant has been allocated to these projects, involving an additional £1,707656 of private investment, and 14 are completed already – among them works to the West End Hotel, the former John Scott Miller building, and above 3 Bridge Street (Harbour Fry).
Judith and David say the ‘Storehouse Restaurant with Rooms’ will see a large internal courtyard restaurant with retail and food and drink production space created on the ground floor and eight luxury rooms for guests on the upper two floors.
Speaking about the project, Judith said: “I have always loved this building, seeing it almost every day when l was growing up, as l have lived just around the corner from it all my life and still do!
“We are working to retain as much of the original character and history as possible so customers can hopefully get a feeling of what it was like.
“It’s incredibly exciting to be starting work – we’d like to thank everyone that’s helped us to get this far, including the Kirkwall THI - without the grant assistance we could not have brought our vision to reality, due to the additional costs of working with listed buildings of this historic nature.
She added: “We are really looking forward to seeing this fantastic iconic building totally renovated and welcoming locals and visitors for next year’s season.”
Richard Ritch, Kirkwall THI Manager said: “This is a prominent building in central Kirkwall, and one with a huge amount of local history, so we are pleased to see it as part of the scheme.
“Although the THI is helping support this project, it’s important to recognise that there is no way this building would be brought back into use without the owners having a vision for the building, making their own significant investment, and having the drive and imagination to see that realised.”
He continued: “Their investment is also likely to create the equivalent of around 12 full time jobs which is clearly another huge benefit for the town.”
The overall budget for the Kirkwall Townscape Heritage Initiative is £3.445 million, which is primarily being provided by Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Scotland and Orkney Islands Council. The KTHI runs until 2019.