Development of UHI Centre for History, Dornoch
The Highland Council is backing the proposed relocation of the UHI Centre for History within Dornoch to premises which will put the centre in a better position to meet the demand generated by successful degree courses now being taken by students through the prospective university of the Highlands and Islands.
The Council has pledged a £200,000 grant towards the cost of establishing a new centre headquarters within a redeveloped stable block at the Burghfield House Hotel, which was recently purchased by North Highland College UHI and transformed into a major training centre for the hospitality and tourism industries. First Minister Alex Salmond opened the training centre last week.
The proposed UHI Centre for History would feature a library – open to local residents - video conferencing-equipped lecture theatre, study space and office accommodation.
Currently, the UHI Centre for History works out of temporary accommodation elsewhere in Dornoch.
The conversion of the stable block is part of the College’s redevelopment plans for the six-acre site in Dornoch. Also planned is new student accommodation with 30 bedrooms and en-suite facilities.
Councillor Sandy Park, Convener of The Highland Council, said the new headquarters for the UHI Centre for History would allow the centre to meet the growing demand for its degree courses.
He said: “We are delighted to support this project, which is an integral part of the redevelopment of the Burghfield House Hotel. It has the potential to create high quality jobs in Dornoch and attract under and post graduate students to the royal burgh. Summer and short courses could attract students from across the UK and overseas and there is an opportunity for researchers to gain experience and add value to the Highland archive service. I wish the UHI Centre for History every success in securing the funds required to fulfil their ambitions.”
The UHI Centre for History’s director, Professor Jim Hunter, said: “This is a tremendous vote of confidence by The Highland Council in what we’re looking to deliver both for Dornoch and the wider Highlands and Islands. We’re hugely grateful to Sandy Park and his colleagues for their backing.”