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Work due to start on Thurso Town Hall refurbishment (03/08/07)
Caithness Horizons is delighted to announce that after securing additional funding from its partners and HIE Caithness and Sutherland, Highland Council has awarded the contract for the main construction work to refurbish Thurso Town Hall to local firm O’Brien Construction Ltd. O’Brien’s expect to start work in the building early September.
The combined museum, visitor and community centre is scheduled to open in the autumn of 2008, during the off-peak tourist season. This will allow the company to concentrate on the range of community uses proposed for the new facility and to establish the flexible temporary exhibition areas for the use of local organisations and groups.
Caithness Horizons Chairman Paul Cariss, welcomed the significant progress being made and said: “After a long period of preparation I’m pleased that the major building work will now commence and that a local business has acquired the work.
”The project promises to deliver an outstanding facility which will benefit both the local community and visitors to the area. Caithness has a fascinating history and story to tell and Caithness Horizons will help to promote the many attractions that as yet are relatively undiscovered.”
Behind the scenes the company has been working non-stop to develop crucial business policies such as IT and communication plans, a pre and post-opening marketing strategy, job descriptions for staffing positions, and to secure local business sponsorship. Cataloguing of the museum artefacts continues and Edinburgh based company Circa Media has been appointed to develop the audio visual presentation that visitors will receive by way of an introduction on their arrival.
The Highland Council Convener Sandy Park, and Chief Executive Alistair Dodds recently visited the Town Hall building and held useful discussions with Paul Cariss on the project progress and the refurbishment plans.
Councillor Park said: "As owners of this historic building, we are delighted to have been able to play our part in bringing this exciting project to fruition. This will establish Thurso as a visitor destination in its own right and act as a signpost to other attractions in the area. It is also an important early flagship project in the regeneration of Caithness and North Sutherland in the wake of the decommissioning of Dounreay."
The new museum store is due to open in Princes Street, Thurso this month and the Caithness Horizons Collections Trust is continuing to attract new members who will be responsible for preserving the collection for visitors and the community to enjoy for years to come.
For further details of the project see the website at: http://www.caithnesshorizons.co.uk/