BERG: Ballater Old Royal Station - Fire 2015

Impacts of the fire
  • A small photography business lost all of their stock and records due to fire and water damage. This included a loss all of their office records and more specifically photographs from a recent wedding impacting both their family and business.
  • After refurbishing their premises and receiving a delivery of all their summer stock, a small clothing business lost all of their stock and has not been able to open for trade locally as no suitable alternative premises.
  • A café whose custom was based on tourists being attracted to the building and local businesses having a venue for meetings has been unable to recover after being hit by the fire.
  • The Ballater Information Centre was also destroyed and has been temporary relocated within the Cairngorms National Park Authority office, Albert Memorial Hall.

Sadly, in the early hours of the morning of 12 May, a fire destroyed the Old Royal Station in Ballater which housed a museum, café, photography business and an Information Centre. The fire at Ballater Old Royal Station provided a clear example of the need for BERG help.

Ballater Fire Station after the fireBERG response and recovery

BERG developed a relationship with the resilience community in Scotland. We quickly made contact with the local resilience partnership and affected community and identified those impacted and their immediate concerns and needs.
The nature of the incident resulted in a focus on insurance and loss adjusting. With our strong membership representation from the industry BERG was able to negotiate with the Loss Adjusters to proactively and sensitively engage faster.  This helped the business to respond better to the crises they found themselves in.  Specific examples included immediate payment of funds from insurers to cover ongoing wages and facilitating payment of invoices due for stock - by doing this they are better positioned for a faster recover.

Lessons learned

A key finding from this incident is that small businesses are not encouraged to consider contingency planning when they set up. Simple actions like backing up files and holding details of their insurers in a safe box or on other premises would have assisted these businesses to recover faster.

Find out more

Find out more about how BERG can help prepare your business for potential emergencies.