With thanks to Esther Green, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR.
The flooding of Ballater provided an unexpected opportunity for an Aberdeen architectural practice to open its first regional branch.
Last December’s floods served as a catalyst for Ian Rodger Architects to act on plans to set up a Ballater office and press ahead with investing in the area.
When an ideal site in the heart of the village became available, the business took action and it has now opened an office to serve clients in the Deeside area.
Its new premises at 28 Bridge Street, which were damaged during the flooding, have undergone complete refurbishment and Deeside Design Studio opened last week.
It is staffed by Ian Rodger Architects’ associate Sarah Russell who lives in the village, and who previously commuted daily to the Aberdeen practice. It’s also being used by quantity surveyor David Cobban who lives in Ballater and works for McCue and Porter in Aberdeen.
Ian Rodger, owner of Ian Rodger Architects has praised the local community for the warm welcome villagers have shown and looks forward to seeing the Deeside office develop and grow.
“Ballater is a lovely place and local people have been very positive and helpful during the refurbishment works and now that the office is open. It’s early days and the new office has strong links to our Aberdeen practice, but it is our hope to see it develop and grow over time.
“It was always part of our plan to open an office in Ballater. When this premises came up we were able to work with the previous occupant – who relocated due to the flooding – to have the lease reassigned, and a change of use granted.
“We have spent considerable time and money to have the property repaired and enhanced, recognising how important it is to Ballater that Bridge Street gets back into working order as soon as possible.
“We wish to extend the invitation for anyone affected by the flooding and requiring any building advice to drop into our office at any time. More than that, we have good experience in all types of building projects, and are happy to take on any scale of project in Deeside.
“It’s noticeable that there is a strong community spirit in Ballater, and we look forward to expanding our Deeside workload as part of its business community.
“Our associate, Sarah Russell, is a local of Ballater and lost her flat during the flooding. Sarah is especially keen to help the village recover and becoming closely involved in the local business community.”
To build links with the community, Deeside Design Studio has sponsored the Highland dancing competition at Ballater Highland Games in August and will be joining Ballater Business Association.
The previous occupant of 28 Bridge Street was hairdressing salon D’Tangled, which is now sharing premises with The Hair Loft.
Richard Watts, chairman of Ballater Business Association, says that attracting new business investment in Ballater is a real positive step and another sign of optimism.
“We welcome the opening of Deeside Design Studio and look forward to the firm becoming a valued part of our business community. I am sure it will gain benefits from being part of our forum and the opportunities this provides through promoting communication between local businesses and the exchanging of ideas.
“It’s heartening to hear of the warm welcome that local folk have already shown to this new business and it’s another indication of Ballater getting back on its feet.”