Scottish Land Fund award for the Dornoch HUB
The Dornoch Area Community Interest Company (DACIC) is absolutely delighted to announce that its application to Police Scotland to purchase the now redundant Dornoch Police Station via an Asset Transfer Request was accepted by Police Scotland in July and that funding to support 95% of the market valuation of the property has now been confirmed by the Scottish Land Fund. The remaining 5% is acknowledged by Police Scotland to be a reasonable discount to represent the significant community benefit that will ensue from the community ownership of the building.
After extensive community consultation the renovated building will house a business hub with offices, a creative hub with studios and workshops and a health & well-being hub with a much requested gym. There will be a community room available for a range of activities including a youth club, a coding club, healthy eating sessions and dementia inclusive craft workshops. There is also a conference room on the first floor and a ground floor meeting room that can be hired by the hour by local businesses and organisations. There will be an IT hot desk facility, with potential for one to one IT training.
The Police Station includes a four bedroom hostel, which it was hoped could be transformed into a childcare centre. However in July the childcare provider indicated that they are no longer able to proceed. DACIC has since developed alternative plans for the old hostel accommodation, in consultation with the local hotels and Royal Dornoch Golf Club all of whom have a need for affordable staff accommodation during the tourist season. Four rooms will be available for seasonal staff and in the winter DACIC will work with TYKES in Golspie to offer respite accommodation for young carers and their families.
Joan Bishop, chair of The Dornoch Area Community Interest Company (DACIC) says ‘DACIC is absolutely delighted to see this project coming to fruition and is extremely grateful to the financial support from the Scottish Land Fund and the co-operation of Police Scotland in the Asset Transfer Request. All parties have worked well together to enable this 1980's building in the centre of historic Dornoch to become a community owned asset and be transformed into the Dornoch HUB. This exciting project will deliver benefits to the whole community – especially the gym which has been on the wish list for over a decade. Members of the public are invited to a drop- in session on Wednesday 2nd October between 3 pm & 7pm in the Struie Room of the Dornoch Social Club, to look at the plans and give their feedback.’
A planning application was lodged in August and interest has already been confirmed by a number of prospective tenants. It is hoped to start renovation work before the end of the year, thanks to a successful application to Beatrice Windfarm Ltd., which will allow the garages to be transformed into a gym, together with a significant investment from the operator Silverback Gym of Tain. A number of other grant applications have been submitted to enable the rest of the building to be renovated and outcomes will be known in the coming months.
DACIC appointed Catherine Moodie as Community Development Manger in charge of Fundraising in January and Kerri Stevens as Project Manager in August. Together this represents a full time post which has been funded by Beatrice Windfarm Ltd. and the Dornoch Common Good Fund.
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