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Ortak jewellery store to open in Orkney

The celebrated jewellery brand Ortak is back in business having returned to its Orcadian roots, reopening its old shop in Kirkwall town centre.

It was founded in 1967 and grew to 15 retail outlets in the UK. But the firm went into administration last year after getting into financial difficulties and it closed its final stores in March.

The company once employed 155 staff with branches throughout Scotland, and across the Border in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is now providing a grant of £136,400 to Ortak Jewellery Ltd for a £506,000 project to resurrect the company. There will be 14 new jobs initially with the potential for more.

Production is being carried out at a former dental surgery on Great Western Road, Kirkwall which has been adapted to provide workstations.

New partners purchased the brand, including the intellectual property rights, as well as the original designs and patterns of the jewellery moulds and drawings The new business is led by majority shareholder and Managing Director Michael Gardens, ex-production manager of the former Ortak company, and Alison Firth, a finance professional from Castletown across the Pentland Firth in Caithness.

Michael Gardens, said: "It is exciting taking over the new Ortak business and being able to retain the brand in Orkney. It is very important to be able to keep some of the employees from the old business who have the necessary skills and experience and who will be vital in bringing forward the business.

"Everyone involved is excited about the opening of the former Ortak shop in the Kirkwall town centre."

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