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John O’ Groats Redevelopment


Natural Retreats


John O' Groats, Caithness



Brief and Response

Working on behalf of a joint venture partnership between Natural Retreats and Heritage Great Britain, GLM have re-engineered the masterplan for John O’ Groats, which will see onetime recipient of the ‘2010 Carbuncle Award – Most dismal town in Scotland’ reinvigorated. GLM’s masterplan has now delivered twenty-three holiday residencies and a reinvigorated John O' Groats Hotel as well as a completely remodelled Journeys End Café, Last House museum and public realm. The £6.5m scheme, which also includes the complete refurbishment and major extension of the John o’ Groats House Hotel in Phase II, represents the first

tangible development in the area in 25 years. Highly sustainable in nature, the holiday residences, which feature sedum roofs and wood burning stoves, have been designed to complement the local ecology. Inside, the residences are highly insulated, requiring little energy to heat while making it possible to enjoy every kind of climate. The feature glazed screens allow guests to take in the breath-taking views. GLM’s success so far has attracted the attention of other groups interested in the success of this highly popular location, and a range of exciting developments are now being discussed.

With the first two phases of the Master Plan now complete the transformation of John O'Groats is now well under way. Public consultation has commenced for the next phase of development. This will breathe more new life into John O' Groats and pave the way for more commercial activity. In April 2014, the scheme was Highly Commended at the Royal Institute for Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Scotland Awards in the Tourism & Leisure category and short listed in the Regeneration category. Inn Images © Pip Rustage


"The team at GLM came up with a design for our John O'Groats project that excited my people and the planners but, as Chief Financial Officer, frightened the life out of me. We had a budget that we just had to hold to. GLM have been relentless. They have not only delivered the exciting design, they've done it within the cost and time parameters we set down and they have kept me in the picture all the way through. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone getting into the scary business of investing in a building project."

Anthony Wild, Chief Financial Officer, Natural Retreats