St Columba's Hospice to set up shop in Haddington

St Columba's Hospice is to open its first charity shop and community hub in East Lothian after agreeing a deal for a former travel agency site.

The premises in the town centre were previously occupied by Thomas Cook. Picture: Contributed

The charity, which supports individuals with life-limiting conditions and their families, currently has eight shops and aims to open its new Haddington branch in early 2019.

The acquisition of the site on the town’s High Street has been secured on a new ten-year lease from a private landlord. The premises were previously occupied by Thomas Cook.

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The deal was brokered by the new east coast commercial agency arm of Allied Surveyors Scotland. Director Iain Mercer said: “Haddington is a fast-growing market town in East Lothian and the shop we have acquired for the hospice will give them fantastic street presence and a strong profile.”

The new shop will act as a hub for the organisation, also accommodating office space for a community team that supports people across East Lothian in their own homes. In addition, it will offer a local meeting point for other health and social care professionals providing palliative care.

Jon Heggie, director of fundraising for St Columba’s Hospice, said: “One of our long-term goals has been to open a charity shop in East Lothian and Haddington is the perfect location to do it.

“Not only is it a fantastic opportunity for us to reach more people that could benefit from our support, it’s a way for us to really engage with the local community and have a presence on the high street.”

The landlord was represented in the transaction by Gardiner & Co.

Allied Surveyors Scotland currently has 32 offices across Scotland and launched its east coast commercial agency in April of this year.

The firm currently employs about 160 people.