COMMUNITY representatives are looking for overdue action on an eyesore building in Wick’s High Street that its owners have promised to develop for over a decade.
The former nightclub, which had previously been a popular cinema, has been left a burnt-out ruin since a mysterious fire in 1996.
Wick Highland councillor Nicola Sinclair said: “The old Pavilion cinema looks particularly run down and is in such a prominent spot. People are understandably frustrated that what was once a fine, listed art deco building has been allowed to lie in such a sorry state for decades.
“If the owners now genuinely plan to develop the site, I welcome that. I’d expect the council to be presented with detailed plans if that is the case.” During the summer, she and other councillors did a tour of the town’s derelict buildings when the site was viewed as in particular need for
Caithness civic leader Willie Mackay would welcome a meeting with the owners to give an update on plans to redevelop this site.
Speaking on behalf of the family who own the property, Joe Ahmed said: “We shall rebuild the Pavilion brick by brick to make it the way it was.”
His brother Khazir Ahmed, who ran Dominoes nightclub when it burnt down, revealed that he has recently lodged plans with Highland Council’s planning department.
The ruined building had carried a banner on its front claiming that a restaurant, cinema and nightclub would be developed on the site in 2008. The only change visible in the last 10 years has been a coat of blue paint.
The banner disappeared at the start of this year, leading to speculation that something might finally be happening.
Full story in Friday's Groat.