Restaurant plans unveiled for iconic Arbuthnot House

Arbuthnot House was constructed in 1805 as a residence for the wealthy merchant and politician George Arbuthnot, a descendant of the prominent Arbuthnot family of merchants who can trace their ancestry back to the time of King David in the 12th century.
Arbuthnot House was constructed in 1805 as a residence for the wealthy merchant and politician George Arbuthnot, a descendant of the prominent Arbuthnot family of merchants who can trace their ancestry back to the time of King David in the 12th century.

Imaginative plans have been unveiled to transform Peterhead’s iconic Arbuthnot House into a 100-cover restaurant.

Local architect Kevin O’Brien has submitted proposals for the transformation on behalf of Covenant Properties International.

The firm - which has local fish merchant George Forman named as a director - has been in talks for several years with Aberdeenshire Council over the purchase of the Broad Street property which was built in 1805.

Arbuthnot House was vacated by the local authority in 2015 as it relocated staff to the state-of-the-art Buchan House facility. It was put on the market with offers in excess of £450,000 being invited.

Sadly, the former Broad Street premises have been left vacant ever since, with vandals recently causing considerable damage to the interior of the property.

Now, however, the applicants hope to give this historic building the “wow factor”.

In addition to the plans for the 100-cover restaurant in the former council chamber, the applicants also wish to create kitchens, a private dining room and two tearooms on the ground floor.

The upper floor and lower ground floor accommodation of the B-listed building will be retained for office accommodation, staff areas and plant.

In a supporting statement, the applicants comment: “The building will be restored to a very high standard in a manner which is sensitive and which is intended to provide its patrons with the appropriate ‘wow factor’.

“The refurbished building in use will regenerate the eastern end of Broad Street through its daytime, evening and weekend uses.

“We anticipate this is a sensitive development which will be hugely supported by the local population and the inward investment into the project must be seen as an incredibly positive move at a time where the town centre is attempting to regenerate.”

Welcoming the submission, Rediscover Peterhead BID manager Iain Sutherland told the Buchanie: “I am absolutely delighted to see this project moving forward.

“Broad Street is a historic area with some truly beautiful buildings.

“This project could really be the icing on the cake for the redevelopment of this fantastic part of the town.”