Home   News   Article

Soaring energy prices blamed for shop closures on Grantown's High Street

By Tom Ramage

Register for free to read more of the latest local news. It's easy and will only take a moment.

Click here to sign up to our free newsletters!

Two prominent businesses will be closing on Grantown’s High Street tomorrow with the town’s MSP saying the “clear and present danger” of soaring energy costs is taking its toll.

Walkers Shortbread – a presence in the town for more than 60 years – and the award-winning Cairngorm Butchers are the latest casualties as business front numbers continue to shrink.

Local MSP Fergus Ewing (SNP) said: “It’s very sad news indeed.”

Fergus Ewing: Closures are a stark sign
Fergus Ewing: Closures are a stark sign

“Both shops are very much part of the community – with friendly service over many many years.

“Both enjoyed huge local support including my own family. Indeed we purchased our butcher meat from Cairngorm just last weekend. A friendly joke and exchange was always guaranteed and will be much missed.”

On a wider note, Mr Ewing observed, the closure of “these two good businesses” was a stark sign of the high costs facing businesses now.

“In particular things like the sky high energy bills which are now so serious a threat that many businesses are now contemplating closure,” he said.

“I did note that the recent UK Budget did not contain good news for businesses.

Walkers of Grantown
Walkers of Grantown

“We have in Scotland an energy rich country. I believe that we should be able to supply our own businesses with energy at reasonable costs – that oil and gas should continue to be part of that, as we transition over a fairly long period and in a practical way to more reliance on renewables.

“The high costs of energy are meanwhile a clear and present danger to many businesses throughout the Highlands and I hope that all governments will take a practical common sense approach to solving this price problem."

Walkers Shortbread managing director Nicky Walker told the Strathy: “We are very proud of our heritage and our shop in Grantown.

“However, the difficult trading conditions of recent years, combined with the investment needed to bring the shop up to the required standards, means that the store is regrettably no longer viable for our business.

“This is not a decision we have taken lightly, and we would like to express our sincere and heartfelt thanks to our dedicated and hard-working three full and part-time members of staff.

“We have a strong duty of care to them and will be working closely with them over the coming weeks.”

Mr Walker added: “We would also like to thank the community for its continued support over our 60 years of trading in the town.

“We are now in our 125th year as a family business. As we look to the future, we will begin an upgrade to our original shop in Aberlour. We will also create a new role in our Aviemore shop.

“We remain committed to both our long-term growth and to continuing to support our communities. This includes the welfare of our workforce and relationships with suppliers and business partners.”

Barry Green, Cairngorm Butchers.
Barry Green, Cairngorm Butchers.

He confirmed the company is working closely with the staff over the coming weeks with “a strong duty of care for them”.

Cairngorm Butchers owner Barry Green was unavailable for comment yesterday but it is understood that rising energy prices had been a factor in his decision.

It is understood that the four members of staff are hoping that a new owner might be found to effect some continuity.

The company has earned a formidable reputation for quality and innovation.

Mr Green, a butcher for 25 years with a real passion for the trade, has blended old school traditional skills whilst embracing modern tastes and has featured in top-flight contests.

Last autumn he competed in The World Butchers’ Challenge in Sacramento in the United States as part of TeamGB.

Teams of butchers from all over the world had gathered to showcase their skills in preparing and presenting a range of meat products in the international competition.

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More