A long-established Perth opticians is eyeing up a move and creating jobs.
Norman Salmoni Opticians intends to celebrate its 50th anniversary next year by relocating from South Street to state-of-the-art facilities being created on South Methven Street.
Director Eddie Russell, who also operates a practice in Bridge of Allan, said the move will allow for further expansion and additional jobs.
“I am only the third owner of a business established in 1971 by well-known Perth man Norman Salmoni and the first qualified optometrist to own one of Scotland’s oldest practices,” he explained.
“Over the past 12 years, we have gone from strength to strength and have simply outgrown our South Street premises.
“We did have opportunities to relocate elsewhere but our roots are in Perth and we envisage scope for further expansion when the pandemic is behind us.”
Property developer Verimac has lodged a planning application with Perth and Kinross Council for an opticians’ practice, paving the way for the business joining Dental Care Perth within the £1 million Old Bank development.
Mr Russell said the premises at the former Clydesdale Bank headquarters presented the “right opportunity” for the firm and that the current economic climate had not put him off the investment.
“Many businesses are steering clear of investment in the current climate of uncertainty but we have decided to grasp the nettle and press ahead,” he said.
“A purpose-built practice boasting the very latest equipment will create four consulting rooms, our own laboratory and instrument room and provide us with potential for future expansion.
“We couldn’t ignore the economic impact of the pandemic.
“Like most businesses, we have had to take far-reaching steps to ensure the safety of our clients, including social distancing and booking in fewer appointments to allow more time for in-depth cleaning.
“It is a show of faith in Perth as a place to do business now and in the future.”
The business employs 15 staff and 95% of spectacles are glazed on-site.
Mr Russell said opticians were becoming an integral part of primary health care and it was looking to add hearing tests to its offering.
“Regular eye examinations are vital to detect early signs of degenerative conditions and we are exploring opportunities to add hearing to our skills set,” he added.