New life for an historic building

There's been a few changes since we bought the ground floor of 1 The Square in December 2021.

The Bank of Scotland closed their Grantown-on-Spey branch nine months earlier, ending a long association with the town and sadly leaving a major High Street space vacant. We feel very lucky to be taking over this special building.

When we got the keys, our first job was to paint the walls. It takes a few coats of white to cover up Bank of Scotland blue!

Renovations | Spey Bank StudioWires | Spey Bank Studio

We used the bank regularly for many years as customers so it’s been fascinating to step beyond the public spaces and see what’s there. One of the most surprising features was a massive metal wall beside the business counter. Needless to say, that isn’t going anywhere.

The front part of the office, formerly the public part of the bank, will become the shop, gallery and workshop space. The business counter is staying but the bit behind will be used for storage and production. The counter itself is getting a new look, with a lovely tile mural created by Angus.

What’s left behind

While the company stripped out most of the fittings, there were still loads of signs that the building was formerly a bank.

Stickers telling people where to stand for social distancing are still on the floor in the front and you could see where the cashier’s desk stood from the marks on the carpet.

Another surprise was a mosaic floor at the fire exit. This is the door that leads onto High Street. We think it will look lovely when it’s given a proper clean.

Mosaic Floor | Spey Bank Studio

Most of the features were stripped out – handles were even taken off the door into the back room but it’s spy hole remains.

Behind this door, we found a huge metal box; presumably for the bank’s servers. A spaghetti junction of wires emerged from this box and ran off into the ceiling and away through the building.

A new pottery

One of the first spaces to be completed is the pottery. This was driven by a need to move Angus's equipment out of an industrial unit elsewhere in town.

Walls have been painted, a new vinyl floor was installed, and a there's a special tiled section for the kiln. Plus there's loads of shelves for equipment and glazes and pots and moulds. It really looks like a proper working space now and we're excited to get you in there to learn some pottery techniques.

Now it's onto the other rooms.

Installing the kiln | Spey Bank Studio

Where's the cash?

And if you're wondering if there was any money left when we moved in?

And the answer is yes - 30p worth of 5ps, a bank card and some bank bags! Perhaps the millions are still to be found?!

Money Bags | Spey Bank Studio

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