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Print firm makes right energy-saving choices when moving into new premises

Former church is converted into energy-efficient offices with professional support.

When John Cunningham found the perfect premises for his printing and graphic design business, one of the first calls he made was to Zero Waste Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Business Support Service.

John was aware of the independent support we can offer to Scottish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and he wanted one of our consultants to look at the blank canvas that was The Church House in Stornoway.

A church in an earlier life, the property had been subsequently converted to a two-storey office and workshop space, but had been standing empty for more than five years before John acquired it for Sign Print Hebrides.

The businessman stripped out the entire building to enable him to start from scratch and asked us to advise him on the best ways to make his premises as energy efficient as possible.

With no previous energy use for comparison, it wasn’t about being able to cut his bills, but to recommend the most cost-effective ways to heat and light the impressive building.

Our advisor made a thorough assessment of the property that enabled John to make an informed decision on a new heating system.

Further recommendations that were implemented by John included insulating the solid walls and the roof. He has future plans for improving the building’s glazing. 

John had planned to position his company on the first floor and let out heated office space on the ground floor to another Stornoway business. 

With a media company approaching him about the newly created offices, John has subsequently amalgamated with his tenants and The Church House is now the purpose-created home of Stornaway Media Centre.

John, who took advantage of an interest-free SME loan to help fund the work, was impressed with the work of the Energy Efficiency Business Support Service. 

He said: 


“It is a fantastic service. It gives everyone the opportunity to make long-term changes. Although I have no previous bills for comparison, I don’t need to see figures to know I am saving money.”


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Our free service for Scottish businesses is funded by the Scottish Government and by the European Regional Development Fund through the £73 million Resource Efficiency Circular Economy Accelerator Programme. The support provided to this organisation was delivered by Zero Waste Scotland’s Resource Efficient Scotland programme, which has been relaunched as Zero Waste Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Business Support Service as of 1 April 2020.

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