Apprentices learn new skills working on £2.5m Fraserburgh hotel project

The £2.5 million conversion of two derelict buildings in Fraserburgh into a new hotel is providing training opportunities for three young apprentices.

By Kevin McRoberts
Friday, 17th September 2021, 7:00 am
NESPT chairman Marcus Humphrey (far left) and project manager Paul Higson (far right), join, from left, Dylan Wray, Vince Willox, Owen Park and Liam Inglis outside the hotel.

The North East Scotland Preservation Trust (NESPT) is currently working on the transformation of the former Bank of Scotland building and the adjacent former John Trails book shop.

Following a competitive tender process, the NESPT appointed local contractor V G Willox Ltd to carry out the work, with 17-year-old apprentices Owen Park, Dylan Wray and Liam Inglis joining the team on site.

Business owner Vince Willox said: “We were delighted to be appointed as main contractor on this exciting and transformational project in Fraserburgh. The appointment enabled us to recruit three apprentices to work on the project. It is a great opportunity to offer young lads training in heritage building redevelopment and the technical aspects involved.

Work is ongoing to covert the empty bank and book shop buildings into a hotel and restaurant.

"We are a local company, we employ local people, and use local sub-contractors and suppliers wherever possible. This ensures the maximum economic benefit to the local community.”

Owen and Dylan are apprentice joiners, while Liam is an apprentice plumber. The apprenticeships are a mixture of college learning and on the job training. Owen and Dylan attend the North East Scotland College – Owen in Aberdeen and Dylan in Fraserburgh – and Liam attends Tullos Training Ltd in Aberdeen.

Owen and Dylan have been involved in a variety of tasks, including stripping out of the building and making good the wall structure; fixing joists, flooring, plaster boarding and insulating; installing internal fittings and manufacturing and fitting traditional sash and case windows.

Liam has gained skills including plumbing for heating pipes and hot and cold-water supply to the 11 en-suite shower rooms, and the fitting of water tanks, sanitary ware and radiators, as well as work on roof valleys, gutters and flashings.

Dylan Wray preparing roof upstands, and Liam Inglis installing a radiator.

The £2.5 million hotel project is being funded by the Aberdeenshire Town Centre Fund, Fraserburgh 2021, the Aberdeenshire Regeneration Fund and the Place Based Investment Programme.

The development of the project was grant aided by the Architectural Heritage Fund.