Windmill nearly ready for new jewellery role

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The landmark building, formerly owned by the Ann Street Group, was sold at the end of last year to Guernsey company Catherine Best Jewellery for £880,000.

ince then builders have been hard at work creating a workshop and shop, a 130-seater rest-aurant on two floors as well as bars and an outdoor seating area.

ward-winning jewel-lery designer Catherine Best, who was in the Island last week to launch the project to the media, has been in business for 15 years.

After completing a four-year design course at Medway College, she began working from her family home in Guernsey, which coincidentally is also a converted mill.

he and her husband Paul currently employ a skilled workforce of 23 – three in Guernsey and 20 in the UK – who make each piece to the exact requirements of the customer.

If the business takes off here they will also consider training people locally.

This opening in Jersey is fantastic for me – I’m enjoying getting it all set up,’ she said.

‘The phones in Guernsey have been hot with people wanting to come and visit it.

Those who come on holiday to both islands want to see the business here, and we have a lot of English clients who come to Jersey more than to Guernsey.

Ms Best described her jewellery as ‘classic with a modern feel’.

She uses 18-carat gold and platinum, precious and semi-precious stones, and holds the Channel Island rights to the iris blue pearl, which is found in New Zealand.

‘I always say that my jewellery should be in fashion for ever, passed down the generations,’ she said.

he work on the Windmill will cost in the region of £1 million.

It is designed to preserve building traditions, with plastic windows replaced by wooden frames.

We want to keep it as countrified as possible, relatively peaceful.

We’ve had a lot of help from Jersey Heritage.

We have lowered the floor but we are keeping the original beams in the mill itself, and the sails.

All public areas will have full disabled access and facilities, with play areas for the children.

Customers needing repairs or refurbishment of favour-ite pieces will be able to bring them to the shop and visitors will be able to watch the manufacturing in progress in the workshop.

Originally our intention was to look for a base in St Helier, but when we saw the Windmill site we knew that it was the perfect place,’ she said.

‘As with our Guernsey attraction, we hope that it will appeal to anyone who appreciates fine quality jewellery design.

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