THE CARNEGIE Hall in Sandwick is set to be turned into a temporary grocery shop this summer while the local baking company extends its existing retail premises.
An application for off-sales alcohol licences went in front of councillors this morning (Monday).
The licensing board was happy to approve the application, which would allow alcohol to be sold from the temporary shop from 10am to 6.30pm Monday to Saturday, and 11am to 5pm on Sundays.
Board member George Smith, who lives in the village, said it was “important that there continues to be a shop in Sandwick” and moved for all licences be granted.
The Sandwick Baking Company was recently granted planning permission to extend its shop and car park.
It has also applied for planning permission for a jet car wash and car charging points, in addition to signs at the two Sandwick junctions on the A970.
It all comes ahead of a Co-op store opening in the nearby area next year, but shop director Evelyn Jamieson said after the meeting that the extension plans have “been on the cards for some time”.
The business, which employs nearly 30 people across its bakery and shop, is now waiting on the go-ahead from building standards before starting the extension.
Staff will have to move all of the products in the shop over to the Carnegie Hall when work gets underway, although it is the not the first time they have used the building as a temporary space.
The licences for the temporary shop are for the period between 30 May and 21 August, but the hope is that the Carnegie will only need to be used for a month or so.
Jamieson said extending the shop and bolstering its offering was intended to ensure the longer-term viability of the business.
She also said there is a hope that the Sandwick shop and the Co-op will “work alongside one another” to offer a good retail experience in the South Mainland village.
The plan would be for the baking company to offer different products than the Co-op, Jamieson said, to give folk variety.
“We are looking forward to the challenge,” she added. “We have to just grasp the opportunity.”
The baking company has been on the go for more than 100 years, and Jamieson vowed that “it’s going to be there for a long time to come”.
Meanwhile also at Monday’s meeting the Hilltop in Yell successfully applied for variations to its licence.
The building is now classed as a shop and a cafe instead of a pub/restaurant.
It now goes under the name of Hillshop and Isle Eat Cafe, and people will be able to have a drink with their meal.
Owner Steven Swan’s request was to amend the licensing hours to align them more with the shop and cafe opening times.
The licensing hours are now 11am to 10pm for on sale, and 10am to 10pm for off sales Monday to Saturday, and 10.30am to 10pm on Sundays.
However Swan said he does not expect the cafe to be open this long unless there are private bookings.
The on sales capacity would also be reduced from 101 people to 40.
The application was approved with no hesitation, with both Alastair Cooper and Catherine Hughson speaking up for supporting the viability of businesses in the isles.
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