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Decision about Junners and Jailhouse redevelopment on Elgin’s South Street revealed

Here is the lowdown on the regeneration proposals.

Decision revealed on the South Street redevelopment.
Decision revealed on the South Street redevelopment.

Plans to transform eyesore buildings on Elgin’s South Street have been approved.

The South Street development is part of major efforts to regenerate the Elgin town centre.

The proposals went before members of the planning committee today.

Artist impression of South Street development in Elgin.
Aerial view of South Street development plans revealed.

What were the proposals?

The derelict remains of The Jailhouse nightclub in Elgin. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson

In December, Moray Council, development partners Robertson Property Limited (RPL) and UHI Moray revealed the plans which included the redevelopment of the former Junners toy shop, the Newmarket Bar and the Jailhouse nightclub.

The Moray Growth Deal is supporting elements of the project, while £18.3m Levelling Up Fund cash will also contribute to the redevelopments.

Homes, a business enterprise hub for new and growing businesses and additional units for shops were included as part of the vision.

Our previous scoop about the plans.

Last year we also exclusively revealed more details about the plans.

In February, architects Oberlanders lodged the proposals on behalf of RPL to planning officials which will include a business hub, three retail units, 38 flats across five blocks and a courtyard.

Five buildings will be demolished as part of the redevelopment with the exception of a C listed archway at the entrance to the former Junners toy shop which will be retained.

Looking up at the front door of former Junners toy shop in Elgin, which is part of the South Street regeneration
Former Junners store will be demolished, but the listed facade will be retained. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

All the other buildings involved have been empty for sometime, apart from 53-55 South Street which is currently occupied by Elgin Furniture & Carpet Centre.

Meanwhile, the building at 51 South Street which was once home to Junners will be demolished too.

The new building will become the Business Enterprise Hub which is a Moray Growth Deal project by UHI Moray and funded by the Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Junners at 51 South Street. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

The new facility will offer hot-desking facilities and space for new and growing businesses, as well as access to meeting rooms, studios, digital equipment and space
for research and development.

South Street redevelopment given the green light

3D model of what the South Street development will look like once it is completed. Image: Oberlanders Architects

Now councillors have approved the proposals.

Elgin councillor Sandy Keith said the South Street development would compliment the other regeneration work in the Elgin town centre.

This includes the ongoing transformation of the Gordon and MacPhail building and potential new life for the former printing works.

Labour councillor for Elgin North Sandy Keith
Elgin councillor Sandy Keith.

He said: “This development brings more housing and the transformation of the derelict site.

“It is a lot of investment to improve the town centre.

“This development’s flats and the Poundland flats will help bring more footfall in the town centre.”

Watch my video from my visit to the Jailhouse:

Councillor Keith’s motion was carried 11-2 to approve the proposals with conditions including measures to mitigate gulls.

Meanwhile, councillor John Cowe said the site had been a mess for sometime and the work was welcomed.

South Street. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson

Robertson Group CEO Elliot Robertson says the regeneration of Elgin’s South Street will return economic benefit and life to the town centre.

He said: “As a major employer in Elgin, Robertson is highly invested in making this project a success, for the local and wider economy.

We have been actively involved in bringing this project from concept to reality for a number of years as a result of the complexities around the site assembly due to multiple land ownerships.

Elliot Robertson, the firm's chief executive.
The firm’s Elliot Robertson, the firm’s chief executive. Image: Robertson Group

He added: “I am confident that repurposing this part of town will act as a catalyst for wider regeneration and investment.

“We look forward to works commencing and to being part of the team who bring vitality and viability back to the town centre.”

Read more about the development: