After two years searching for larger premises, independent retailer Grampian Furnishers has submitted plans for a new 30,000 sqft store.
The firm is seeking to invest £3.5m and remain in Moray, Scotland, after considering relocating to sites close to Aberdeen and Inverness.
The proposal is for a high-quality building at the Gateway to Elgin, which involves demolishing a derelict steading, cottage and former dairy at Linkwood. Plans include retail space, office space and a cafe with parking for 110 vehicles.
Included in the application is the completion of the road infrastructure on the current site, which would open up another two plots. There are other businesses in discussions with the landowner in the hope of creating a mixed-use site that would provide more jobs and commerce in Elgin.
Grampian Furnishers, which is currently based in the former Regal Cinema in Lossiemouth, is seeking to expand floor space and attract more customers to the area.
The business is seeking a departure from some of the policies of the Local Development Plan as the application site is currently allocated for business and industrial use rather than retail use. MD Royce Clark says: “We are asking for the council to look at this as a significant business investment in Moray. We wish to retain investment in this region and also attract more spend into the area, this site is the only one that suits our needs in Moray and our preference is to keep the business operational here if it is at all possible. We have exhausted all other avenues of existing buildings, both in and out of the town centre.”
Confirming that he anticipates up to 50 new jobs being created by the new store, Royce adds: “If the planning process is successful then we have already been in discussions with local builders Robertson’s, who we anticipate will carry out the project for us with construction starting in the summer of 2017. If our proposal is unsuccessful then we will need to look again at options on the outskirts of Inverness and Aberdeen.”
Royce is one of the four judges assessing entries for The Furniture Awards 2017 ahead of announcing the winners at the upcoming January Furniture Show.