Two Stornoway hotels, which have lain empty for several months, are to be rebranded in the hope of attracting new lease holders.
The Crown Hotel on Castle Street which closed at New Year, is to become the Crown Inn with the public bar renamed The Harbour Bar with an improved entrance. The restaurant upstairs is to be renamed the Harbourview Restaurant with a new access beside the public bar entrance.
The Caledonian Hotel on South Beach Street is also to be rebranded with the new Rock Pool Bar in the former public bar and a Restaurant/Coffee shop in the former lounge.
A spokesperson for Punch Taverns said: “We can confirm we have submitted planning applications in line with our refurbishment plans and we await the outcome. We are still actively recruiting a tenant and currently in negotiations with interested operators with a view to start the refurbishments as soon as possible.”
Once planning permission has been approved, they will be able to outline a timescale for the refurbishments of the interior of the hotels.
The closure of the two hotels as well as the Royal British Legion, the former Clachan Bar and the WeeW shop last year have all left empty premises within the town centre.
Other planning applications of interest recently are plans for a new Tong Shop in a former church and also a new building Training and Recycling Centre for Cothrom Ltd in Ormiclate, South Uist. The Centre is to provide premises for Retore, part of Cothrom’s vocational training facilities.
This month’s economic report for the Highlands and Islands by Mackay Consultants highlights a more positive picture for the region’s economy.
It reports although the number of job seekers in the Western Isles is higher than other parts of the Highlands and Islands, it is still well below the national average of four per cent.