Many people will recall how the Antartex Village was the subject of flooding following torrential rain in the area last December. The nearby river burst its banks and the village was badly affected with dirty water. Frank Malcolm, a building surveyor and specialist in reinstatement work with CRGP Ltd was on the scene almost immediately and he devised a strip-out programme. Floor coverings, ruined plasterwork and damaged walls were all removed. Timber, skirting and facings contaminated by the water were also taken out.
Stuart Murphy is property manager for the village’s owner, Edinburgh Woollen Mill and at the time he said: “I was shocked and horrified at the amount of water in the building. It was more than two feet deep in some places and there was not one square foot of the ground floor level left dry. We were just about to close for the Christmas period and I arranged for Clark Contracts, who were already on our books, to come in and ensure the building was safe and secure for our staff.”
The village is now beginning to make a full recovery and in April the first phase witnessed the male clothing and ladies clothing area and a restaurant open in time for Easter.
The Antartex Village is a leading tourist attraction in the west of Scotland and it is visited by thousands of people every week. It is only a few minutes from the banks of Loch Lomond and it is a 25-minute drive from Glasgow.
Now, the second chapter in the renewal is complete and the village has never looked better. In the course of reinstatement, the Edinburgh Woollen Mill decided that when the shop was closed it provided a good opportunity to embark on a programme of betterment and this further investment has seen the removal of many walls to form a large, open-plan retail area and the building of new toilets for disabled persons.
“The completion of Phase I meant that our business activities were concentrated into an area of around 10,000 sq.ft,” said Stuart. “We had ladies, gent’s, golf, whisky and food and gifts in the one area. Now with the conclusion of Phase II and an additional 12,000 sq.ft of retail space we can redistribute our business. Gent’s, food and gifts and whisky have moved into the new space, leaving the ladies department with the area it requires.”
The dividends of the redevelopment and the creation of more floor space has given Whisky Shop and Hector Russell, the kilt specialist that hires or sells full Highland regalia and accessories, a much better trading area. Newer concessions such as Rosebys home furnishings, Pavers Shoes, Klass Collection and Yankee Candle sit comfortably with the Edinburgh Woollen Mill’s products.
One of the tenants that has become a tourist attraction is Fire and Ice, a glass blower. Visitors can watch as the glassblower, working behind a Perspex screen, creates all kinds of objects.
Now with phases one and two complete, a final phase will conclude the total refurbishment of this part of the village.
The role of CRGP has been to provide quantity surveyor and design architect services. For Frank it required him to attend on-site meetings every week so that work could be expedited swiftly and effectively. It was ideal having all parties involved as decisions could be made on the spot and problems addressed as they came up.
Working along with Frank from CRGP is Tom Crombie as CDM Co-ordinator and Colin Dair quantity surveyor.