Another blow for Peterhead as Something Special to close

The gift shop business has traded for 16 years at 38 Marischal Street
The gift shop business has traded for 16 years at 38 Marischal Street

Peterhead town centre has been dealt another blow after it was revealed Something Special is to close its doors.

The gift shop business has traded for 16 years at 38 Marischal Street.

Last year the firm withdrew from its lease of a neighbouring shop owing to tough economic conditions.

In a statement on Friday, owners Elizabeth and Iain Sutherland revealed they were “restructuring their business” to adapt to changes on the high street.

They said they wanted to “thank all their loyal customers who have supported them over the years”.

The store is now holding an ‘everything must go’ closing down sale with items at half original price or less.

Its closure will create another vacant shopfront in a town centre still reeling from previous closures.

On Marischal Street alone, the former Hydro Electric shop remains vacant as does the Sutherlands’ former Hallmark outlet and the DFS clothing store.

Rediscover Peterhead - the business improvement group which employs Mr Sutherland as its manager - recently joined in partnership with Aberdeenshire Council and a variety of town centre stakeholders to deliver the ‘Invest in Peterhead’ strategy.

Working collaboratively with local property developers, owners and agents, the marketing strategy will run until 2022 to attract investors to Peterhead.

The aim of the initiative is to fill vacant space and create a vision to attract new investors and developers and businesses to Peterhead town centre to generate a vibrant, diverse and upmarket town centre.

John Pascoe, chair of Rediscover Peterhead, said: “The north east of Scotland is an area currently going through tremendous transformation, and investment; Invest in Peterhead will be at the forefront of that movement over the coming years.

“Our steering group is made up of local property agents, property owners and developers, alongside Aberdeenshire Council, with the aim to be more joined-up in our approach and market Peterhead as the place to be.

“The BID has received a lot of current and fresh enquiries for properties in the town, some unfulfilled due to being older property stock – however, Invest in Peterhead aims to work with developers to provide more suitable and modern offerings for potential tenants.

“We have noticed a demand for smaller units with affordable rents and rateable values within the band for rates relief, so, we are focusing efforts on making this a possibility for potential investors who will breathe new life in to the town centre.

“The strategy will treat the whole of the various vacant properties effectively as one single property portfolio, most with development potential.”

Another future initiative which could prove beneficial to the town centre, as seen in the likes of Elgin, is the Conservation Area Regeneration Schemes (CARS).

An intensive marketing campaign for Invest in Peterhead will commence in June, with marketing consultants likely to be appointed this week.