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Plans to revive Moray ice house move on after almost two years

Gollachy Ice House, Portgordon, which may be undergoing refurbishment. 
Picture by Gordon Lennox 04/02/2013.
Gollachy Ice House, Portgordon, which may be undergoing refurbishment. Picture by Gordon Lennox 04/02/2013.

Plans to revive a historical piece of Moray’s fishing heritage have moved on after almost two years.

The Gollachy ice house, near Portgordon has been left vacant for about 50 years and in recent times there have been various proposals lodged to try and reinvent it but most have been rejected by the local authority.

However, in 2017 landowner Brigid Aitken managed to secure planning permission to build a coffee shop and “well-being centre”.

Since then, Ms Aitken has been working hard to achieve her dream of revitalising the derelict building.

Now after almost two years of preparation the groundwork is to begin in a matter of months, once a building warrant has been granted.


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Ms Aitken is excited about what the future will bring for the development, which is located in an ideal location to spot seals in the Moray Firth.

She said: “We received planning permission for the development back in 2017 and have been working on the building warrant for the last six months.

“The groundworking will hopefully begin in the next few months and the full build should begin when I manage to get funding in place.

“The original timescale for the development had it completed by next February but we will have to wait and see what happens financially before a proper finishing date can be confirmed.”

Gollachy ice house is a 19th century fishing building and is on the Speyside Way walking route.

The proposals consist of a cafe along with a space for art exhibitions, yoga classes and pilate sessions.

Ms Aitken wants to take advantage of tourists coming through and also provide a place for locals to relax.

She said: “The land is frequently visited by lots of people and I want to be able to provide facilities for them, as there are so few between Buckie and Spey Bay.

“We are working very hard to get to this point and hopefully the next stage will start imminently.”

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