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News / SIC staff to move into old AHS

An aerial view of the site which is due to be redeveloped. Photo: SIC

AROUND 30 Shetland Islands Council employees will be moved to the old Anderson High School for an estimated six months as the local authority’s lease on Charlotte House comes to an end.

Staff from environmental health, trading standards, educational psychology and education outreach services will all transfer to the vacant building at the end of March.

The council is unable to confirm at this stage what will happen when the anticipated six-month stay is over.

The old Anderson building at the Knab has been unused since pupils moved to the new school at lower Staney Hill in October.

SIC capital programme manager Robert Sinclair said the upcoming months will be spent tying up permanent office space for the affected staff.

“As the council’s lease of Charlotte House is coming to an end, environmental health, trading standards, educational psychology and education outreach services are being temporarily relocated to the old Anderson High School site at the end of March,” he said.

“We’d anticipate that situation to last for around six months till plans for a more permanent solution are worked through.

“We’ll be issuing more information to any affected clients and the wider public over the next few weeks.”

The lease on the SIC offices at Charlotte House on Lerwick’s Commercial Road finishes at the end of the financial year.

The dedicated office block also features the likes of the local job centre and the Scottish Government’s rural affairs office.

The council is hopeful that around 200 employees from other departments will be able to return to its North Ness headquarters in the coming months after they were ordered to leave the building in 2016 over safety fears which ultimately did not materialise.

Meanwhile, Edinburgh-based architect company 7N is currently drawing up plans for how to use the old Anderson site.

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Another workshop will be held on 6 March to garner more views from the public before a draft plan is prepared and exhibited as part of a formal consultation in May.

At a previous meeting in November, consultants suggested some buildings could be demolished to make way for at least 100 houses.

Under those plans, the listed old school buildings, the Bruce and Janet Courtney hostels, possibly along with the 1990s-built science building known as D block, would be repurposed.

In addition to housing, other ideas from the public include facilities for pre-school and nursery children, various sporting groups, hotels, a small business hub, an arts and crafts workshop, and premises for classic cars.

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