A north-east business due to open this year will provide a glimpse into its buildings 18th century roots.
Ivy’s Emporium in Banff, the former Ivy Blanchard drapery shop, has been refurbished as part of Aberdeenshire Council’s drive to regenerate the main thoroughfare of the community.
It was hoped the work would entice new businesses into the port, and last night had seemingly accomplished that goal.
Rachel Kennedy moved to the north-east from London 10 years ago to work as the manager of Duff House.
She started up her own antique business – Curtiss and Clementine – four years ago, and is now set to move into the Bridge Street property within the next two months.
Last night, she said she jumped at the opportunity to move into the historic building which still has its original shop fittings.
“I’ve always had an eye on the building and always loved it,” she said.
“It’s been about a year of planning to get everything sorted.
“It’s been called Ivy’s Emporium, inspired by the shop that was there before, and we’re also keeping the shop front as it is.
“The shop is going to be about quality, and will also look fashionable. The stock will always be changing, including local items from farm instruments to old advertising signs and film posters. We’ve even got an old horse from a gym coming in.”
Three other businesses will move into the shop to share the floorspace, each selling vintage-inspired items.
The former Ivy Blanchard property had been branded “at-risk” by council architects last year, before the major renovation works.
Work included replacing missing drainpipes, re-pointing the exterior of the building and re-glazing the shop windows.
Joinery repairs to its existing frames and stripping paint from the building’s frontage was also necessary.
The project was progressed through the local authority’s Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme for Banff which was launched in 2014.
Scottish ministers awarded the scheme £500,000 to help enhance and preserve the quality of the town’s built heritage.