A Highland care home which closed after a prolonged struggle with retaining staff could have a new lease of life as a hotel.
HC-One announced its plans to close Castle Gardens Care Home in Invergordon in March.
In the aftermath, trade union GMB Scotland called for “urgent intervention” from NHS Highland to spare its 35 residents from major disruption.
However, it ultimately closed its doors for good in June.
Now the building in Castle Close is the subject of a fresh planning application from Calder Property Management.
Hotel plan emerges after care home not ‘viable’
The application is for a change of use from class 8, a care home, to class 7, a hotel.
According to the applicant, a hotel there could boost the local economy.
A new care home venture is out of the question after the previous operator’s struggles.
A statement from Blueprint Architecture on behalf of Calder Property Management said: “Our client does not consider the current use to be viable.
“It is aware when the building was a nursing home there were issues with finding suitably qualified, local staff.
“There were also increasingly onerous demands from the Care Commission.
“Our client purchased the property with the intention of redeveloping the building to service a recognised local demand for tourists and worker accommodation.
“They believe that a hotel in this location will boost the local economy and be a
sustainable business going forward.”
Social care struggles
In the aftermath of HC-One’s announcement, GMB Scotland wrote to MPs and MSPs to seek support for a takeover of the care home by NHS Highland.
It was one of five care homes across the north which would be sold.
A spokeswoman for HC-One said at the time that the operator was doing everything it could to support its residents in Invergordon.
Unfortunately, the struggles they faced were not unique.
Demand on adult social care remains at an all-time high following the pandemic.
A special meeting between NHS Highland and Highland council was held last November.
It heard the sector was at risk of collapse in parts of the north.