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The Lyon’s Den provides an opportunity for Banff to do business

A well-known Banff building, constructed in 1900, is experiencing a transformational new lease of life as it welcomes its first customers into a newly-created business hub.

The former Peter Lyons Ironmongery Store at 28 Low Street has undergone a redevelopment to create the Lyon’s Den, a community business hub with private offices, co-working areas, meeting and training spaces and a business lounge.

The building sat empty for several years before being bought in December 2019 by Neil McLeod, Managing Director of local business Property Partners.

Since then, he has been carrying out extensive renovations to convert the old building into a modern, fully-serviced business centre. In addition to providing new office accommodation for Property Partners, local companies Paul Florence Mortgage Services and Structured Financial Planning have also relocated to the new facility.

The work is being carried out in three phases. Phase one, the creation of three-fully serviced offices on the first floor is now complete. Phase two of the project,  the ground floor, is due for completion in July and will comprise a business lounge, meeting and training rooms and an open plan communal area which can be used for a variety of purposes including events and business functions.

The third phase will see the development of additional bespoke office accommodation on the first floor and a meeting room or training suite. It is scheduled for completion by the end of this year.

Property Partners specialises in residential and commercial letting and provides a range of other property services,

“Since I started the business, originally called Energy Let in 2017, it has continued to grow year on year as new services have been added,” said Neil. “Having moved a couple of times into larger premises to accommodate company growth, I wanted to find a long-term home, in a town centre location which will give the business the scope to continue to grow,” said Neil.

“This building had so much potential and capacity, not just for Property Partners but for other local businesses and Lyon’s Den meets increasing demand for modern, high-quality, fully-serviced office accommodation in the Banff area.

“Taking things to the next level to create an all-encompassing hub which can be used by the wider business community was a natural next step. Lyon’s Den Business Hub –  Where Banff does Business – provides a venue where  local businesses can get together, to network, work together and support each another.”

The building at the junction of Low Street and Bridge Street was an ironmongery store until the 1980s. It then became the offices of Moneywise Insurance Broker until the mid-2010s and sat vacant until being bought by Property Partners.

A C-listed building, set in Banff’s conservation area, the exterior with its distinctive crenelated wallhead has been preserved to maintain the granite façade which is in keeping with the rest of the street.

The interior has been completely updated and modernised, with new insulation, full rewiring, new flooring and décor and the installation of energy-efficient lighting and heating systems. In a nod to the building’s past some of the original panelling has been retained and an original steel column and beam have been exposed.

The renovations also uncovered some interesting artefacts. Among them wooden boards with hand written inscriptions by George Mann and Alex Lyon, both joiners from Banff, bearing the date 10th June 1900.  Also found under the floor boards was a broken ginger beer bottle which was made in Banff and various ironmongery bits and pieces.

Pictured: Richard Evans, Structured Financial Planning; Neil McLeod, Property Partners; Paul Florence, Paul Florence Mortgage Services; Ewen Grant, Structured Financial Planning

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