Substantial Retail Premises / Development Opportunity, - For Lease / May Sell, Lerwick

Price On Application
Key Details

Rateable Value:



On Application




By arrangement.


For further details or to arrange a viewing please contact our Property Manager Robert Bell on 01595 695583.

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A sizeable retail premises in a prime trading location on Lerwick’s main shopping thoroughfare.

Neighbouring businesses in the immediate vicinity include the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lerwick’s main Post Office and the Shetland Times bookshop. The property is currently used for retail however the building would lend itself to mixed use development or potential change of use (subject to consents).

Offering one of the largest retail floor areas on Commercial Street, the premises are offered for lease or lease / purchase which is the preferred option. However an outright sale of the property would also be considered.

Continuation of the existing ladies fashion business would be subject to separate negotiation.

The property, in Lerwick’s Outstanding Conservation Area, has been well maintained and is unusual in the area in terms of the substantial floor space provided.

General Information

The building occupies a prominent site on Lerwick’s main shopping thoroughfare of Commercial Street, close to the Market Cross.

Commercial Street, which is situated in the Lerwick Outstanding Conservation Area in the heart of the town centre just across from the main harbour area, is home to a mix of national chains including M&Co, Boots and various banks, and well-established local businesses. No.97 is located in the section of the street which runs between Church Road to the east and the Market Cross to the west, other businesses in this section including the Royal Bank of Scotland, main Post Office, Shetland Times Bookshop, Jamieson’s Knitwear, Anderson’s, Halcrow’s Menswear and C Kelly Opticians.

Lerwick, Shetland’s capital with a population of around 8000, is the main business centre in the islands which have a total population of around 22,000 supplemented by summer visitors. The town has a wide range of amenities including a leisure centre & swimming pool, museum, cinema & music complex, the hospital, a High School and a couple of primary schools.

The Shetland Islands themselves are the most northerly part of the United Kingdom being located approximately 100 miles north of Aberdeen and 200 miles west of Bergen in Norway, with over 100 islands of which 12 are inhabited. The islands offer a vibrant and safe community which enjoys dramatic and unspoilt scenery and an abundance of wildlife. Fishing, including catching, farming and processing, and the oil industry are the largest income generators although other industries such as farming / crofting, tourism and textiles also make a significant contribution to the local economy.

A daily overnight ferry service from Lerwick operated by Northlink Ferries ( provides a sea link to mainland Scotland whilst Flybe ( operates direct flights to Sumburgh at the south end of Shetland from Aberdeen, Inverness, Edinburgh & Glasgow.

The Building

The premises are housed in a substantial detached Grade ‘B’ listed property comprising the original mainly stone-built building which has a street frontage with two large display windows to Commercial Street, plus a large extension to the rear which was added in the 1990’s.

The building presently houses Smiths of Lerwick, a long established women’s clothing store which has traded from the same location since 1988.

The accommodation is arranged over two main split-level floors, plus two further mezzanine floors, one used as a general dispatch space, the other housing staff facilities.

The main entrance is from Commercial Street, although there are various fire exits to the side of the building plus a separate entrance via the office bridge.

The accommodation which has electric heating, has an estimated gross internal floor area (including stairs) of around 320m² comprising 100m² on the ground floor, a split-level retail space arranged over three levels, a mezzanine level of around 34m² used as a dispatch / store area, the main upper shop floor area of approximately 116m², again a split-level space on three levels, a 25m² store room, and a top floor staff area with toilets and kitchenette, of around 34m². Finally there is an additional office in the ‘bridge’ which originally connected the building with its neighbour, of around 10m².

The Business

As noted the existing business is ladies fashions including lingerie & nightwear, young fashion including bags and accessories. After many successful years trading the owners are retiring and whilst the premises are being made available for lease or possible sale, consideration would certainly be given to any proposals for a continuation of the business itself.

Change of Use

Whilst the current retail use at ground floor level would be expected to be continued, other commercial usage might be considered subject to the usual consents.

It is thought that the upper floors would have potential for residential development with possibly up to four units. Although no Change of Use application has been made, the upper floors of several other similar properties on Commercial Street, including the property next door, have been converted into flatted accommodation in recent years, the location being ideal for such a use, particularly some form of tourist accommodation, as amenities including shopping, cafes and banks etc. as well as the small boat harbour are close at hand. Therefore whilst no guarantee of residential development can be given it is thought likely that residential use would be a possibility for some of the building.

Any Change of Use and / or alterations would however be subject to the usual planning and listed building consents, and a building warrant, and prospective purchasers should satisfy themselves in this regard by contacting the local planning and / or building standards departments of the Council directly for further advice.

Rateable Value

The Rateable Value is understood to be £12,100. Prospective purchasers should however contact Shetland Islands Council directly for confirmation.

Property Location

The property is situated on the south side of Commercial Street between the lanes of Norna’s Court to the right and Crooked Lane (formerly Betty Mann’s Close) to the left.

To see the location of the property in an overall Shetland context, adjust the zoom by clicking the + or - buttons. Use the 'Map', 'Satellite' & 'Hybrid' buttons to switch between an ordnance survey style road map, a satellite aerial photograph or a combination (hybrid) of the two. Please note that the date of the satellite image is unknown and may not show new buildings.

(Please be aware the Google Street View was taken on the date shown. The building and surroundings may have changed since then. We always recommend you view the property personally.)

Important Information for Prospective Purchasers

This schedule is intended only to help you decide whether to view the property. We always recommend you view the property personally.

The information is believed to be correct, but it is not warranted and is not to form part of any contract of sale. All dates, distances, areas and room sizes noted are approximate and for use as a general guide only. Prospective purchasers should satisfy themselves as to the working condition or otherwise of any equipment such as central heating or kitchen appliances.

This schedule should not be taken as a comment on the condition of the property. This is a matter for your surveyor and we recommend that once you have found a property you are interested in, you obtain a survey report. We can provide details of surveyors if required.

Interested parties are advised to note their interest through their solicitor as soon as possible so that they can be informed if a closing date is fixed. Noting interest does not place any obligation on the seller to set a closing date or to give any noted interests the opportunity to offer. Whilst every effort will be made to advise noted interests of any closing date set, this cannot be guaranteed.

No responsibility will be accepted for expenses incurred by parties who have noted interest but do not get an opportunity to offer, or for any expenses incurred traveling to properties which have been sold or withdrawn.

We were very impressed with your professional manner and always keeping us up to date with progress.

Lee Thompson

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