A “ONE-stop shop” for hospitality training and a beauty salon with sunbeds are among the businesses set to fill vacant premises on Lerwick’s Commercial Street.
Celia Smith of hospitality training company Blyde Welcome will take on the lease of the former Tangled hair salon next month before potentially opening in June.
Meanwhile a tanning and beauty salon called The Glow Up is set to take up residence at the former antiques shop at the junction at Church Road.
It comes as reassurance was given by Living Lerwick chairman Steve Mathieson that some of the empty properties on the street will be filled in the near future.
A local artist is also planning to set up shop on the street, whilst the retail unit currently housing Miller’s Opticians which went up for rent was also recently marked by estate agents as leased.
The former Faerdie Maet takeaway and cafe premises is also now under offer.
The Waas Bakery also posted on social media that it is currently recruiting for a supervisor for a “new wee shop” in Lerwick.
There has been plenty of talk online – and also in the council chamber – about the number of vacant retail properties in Lerwick.
The latest and perhaps most prominent – in size at least – is the M&Co fashion retailer, which is closing all of its branches in the country following administration.
But the empty Tangled hair salon, located opposite Island Larder, is set to reopen this summer as a hospitality training centre.
Speaking to Shetland News, Smith said the plan was to offer barista and “tearista” training in the building as well as courses like food hygiene and customer service.
It would not just be people employed in the trade who could benefit, though, with Smith saying the hope is to offer workshops to the public in areas like latte art.
“The plan is to offer two distinct types of training. The shop part of the building will be where I do the barista training, with workshops,” she said.
“Training both staff and customers, so we’re thinking to offer masterclasses where friends could come and learn coffee art, latte art. There’s also a whole lot of things we can do about teas.”
At the back of the shop Smith is planning to create a large room where training in areas like food hygiene and alcohol licensing can be held.
She said a “one-stop shop” for hospitality training was always the plan for her company, but modern apprentices took precedence – whilst the Covid pandemic also affected the number of people in hospitality.
Meanwhile The Glow Up salon is due to open in the coming months at 67 Commercial Street, offering sunbeds, beauticians and nail technicians.
Its owner Ashley Williamson said she will shortly be looking for self-employed nail techs and beauticians/make-up artists.
Speaking at a meeting of Lerwick Community Council on Monday, Living Lerwick’s Steve Mathieson said it was “great news” that vacant properties are being filled.
“There’s been a lot of interest in some of the recently closed shops own the street and buildings on the street,” he said.
“So I think we’re going to hopefully find that a lot of those recently empty properties are reopening with new businesses very soon.”
Speculation suggested that Superdrug may have had an interest in the M&Co store, but a spokesperson said this week that the company “does not have any information to share at this moment in time”.
Mathieson also said he believed re-slabbing work will take place in the centre of Lerwick late summer and autumn.
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