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After a 20-year wait… Dornoch is about to finally get a sports centre

Dornoch Academy
Dornoch Academy

The wait of more than 20 years is almost over for residents of a north community wanting a state-of-the-art sports centre.

Work is expected to start in the New Year on the £3million facility in the grounds of Dornoch Academy.

Highland Council has invited contractors with an interest in building the complex to step forward.

The sports centre project, which was previously a community initiative, was taken over by the local authority and included in its capital programme in 2013.

The complex will have four badminton courts with changing facilities, a viewing gallery, office and staff base.

A preferred site for the building has been selected on an area of gravel by the primary school and next to a small all-weather pitch.

East Sutherland and Edderton councillor Jim McGillivray has been “reassured” by the council’s progress with the project.

He said: “It’s been a 20-year campaign and we’re now getting to the point where it’ll be delivered.”

He reckoned the turning point was in 2013 when the plans featured in the capital programme and backing was given by SportScotland.

Highland and Island Enteprise’s Dornoch town masterplan was launched in the same year, with plans for new accommodation for students at UHI’s North Highland College increasing the market for the facility.

Mr McGillivray added: “I think the previous council chief executive relented to the arguments that nothing had happened in Dornoch since 1963 when the new academy building was built.”

Provost, and Dornoch area community council chairwoman, Yvonne Ross was on a committee that first mooted the plans in 1992.

She said she was “delighted” the project was coming to fruition.

“We’ve had a lot of traction on the part of the council and with the stakeholder group meetings in recent months,” she said. “It’s the most optimistic I’ve been about the project in the past six years.”

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