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Business / Historic lodberry in line for restoration after being bought by local company

The waterfront Lodberry which used to house the Lerwick Sea Scouts.

A RUNDOWN lodberry on Lerwick’s waterfront could be set for a new lease of life as a training space and workshop for a local engineering firm.

Ocean Kinetics is looking to refurbish the vacant lodberry at Copeland’s Pier, and planning permission has been sought for the work.

It follows a recent failed attempt from a couple to gain permission to turn the former Sea Scouts property into a domestic home, with concerns raised over the risk of flooding.

The historic B-listed lodberry on Commercial Street was built around 1817.

The lodberry, which has its own pier, was bought by Ocean Kinetics from Shetland Islands Council in November last year.

For a number of decades it had been used by the Lerwick sea scouts, but its condition was poor.

Managing director John Henderson said: “Over the next six months we will make repairs and alterations to restore this 200-year-old building and preserve it for centuries to come.

“Copeland Lodberry is one of the few Lodberries left on Lerwick’s historic seafront.

“Working closely with Architect Colin Sim from Malcolmson Architects in Scalloway and Karl Tait from Arch Henderson we shall bring life back into this unique property, with its unique location next to the sea in Lerwick harbour, the building will be used for training staff especially in marine works which is what it has been used for the last 40 plus years.”

Henderson said that flood prevention would be provided in a number ways.

Arch Henderson has designed an “extremely heavy floor slab and tanking system that will overcome the predicted high tides and storm surges that are predicted over the decades to come”, he said.

“Internal drainage and pump sumps will give additional protection along with storm gates and shutters fitted to protect windows and doors. All measures will be tastefully concealed to maintain the character of the building and keeping it compliant with the listed building requirements.”

The stonework is generally in good nick but the roof and internal timbers are in poor condition.

Henderson said the building would require extensive repair work including windows and doors as well as fresh plumbing and electrics, a new pumped sewer and water connection.

“The ground floor will be covered in traditional stone flagstones, reusing the old flags as much as possible, the internal layout will be open plan downstairs with a small toilet and meeting area, upstairs will again be open plan with a comfortable area for training,” he added.

“The small courtyard and pier will be repaired, with the deck of the pier being relayed to allow it to be used safely, all work shall be carried out by local craftsmen reusing as much of the original materials as possible.

“It is a real privilege for us to be restoring this great piece of Shetland history, but even more importantly to be bringing it back to its use as a working building with its focus and purpose linked once again to the sea.

“That’s very rewarding, and we think the merchants who once traded from here would approve.”

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