One of Shetland’s oldest family firms John Leask & Sons has put the travel agency part of its business up for sale.
Peter Leask said this week the decision had been taken because he and his brother Andrew are getting on in years and felt it was time to test the water to see if there was interest in taking on the agency. “We’re just looking to the future,” he said. “We’re both into our 60s now.”
He stressed that the sale offer, with a guide price of £240,000, does not include the bus and coach operation which has been run by the family for 91 years and will continue in their hands.
The travel agency began 17 years later in 1936 when Leasks became the agent for Allied Airways when it started flying to Shetland.
Leask’s is the only major travel agency in Shetland following the demise of rival Travelscope in 2008 after 15 years. The current premises are on the Esplanade where eight people are currently employed.
Mr Leask said there was still plenty business for travel agencies despite the explosion in online booking. “There will always be work for travel agents,” he said. “There are lots of things that folk can’t do online.”
If there is no interest in the agency he said Leasks would continue it.
Other local businesses currently up for sale include Tagon Stores at Voe, priced at £110,000, the Olive Tree cafe, jewellers S&R Swanson, the Hilltop Bar, Spiggie Hotel and the Rod and Line fishing tackle shop.