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Caithness Horizons set to relaunch as North Coast Visitor Centre in November

By Gordon Calder

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THE former Caithness Horizons museum in Thurso is set to be relaunched as the North Coast Visitor Centre next month.

The building, which has been closed for nearly three years, will be opening again on Tuesday, November 2. Horizons closed in February 2019 after encountering "financial and sustainability issues" but Highland Council, which owns the premises, agreed a capital investment of around £200,000 to address key building works.

Most of the work was undertaken prior to the coronavirus pandemic and it was expected the centre would open in the spring/summer last year.

But the Covid virus put these plans on hold. The lockdown and extended time the building was unused also led to some additional works requiring to be addressed in the latter part of 2020.

Caithness Horizons will relaunch as the North Coast Visitor Centre in November
Caithness Horizons will relaunch as the North Coast Visitor Centre in November

A joint partnership approach between the local authority and Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) to each provide revenue funding of £75,000 per annum for an initial three-year period was also agreed to support new operator, High Life Highland.

Thurso and northwest Caithness Highland councillor, Struan Mackie, who is the vice-chair of the Caithness Area Committee, said: "I am delighted that we now have a date for this vital community facility reopening. High Life Highland will be providing a fresh interpretation of the former Caithness Horizons facility, which will re-establish an important focal point for the local community and in turn our region's tourism offering. After much work behind the scenes, I am thankful to Dounreay, Highlife Highland and the Highland Council for ensuring the former town hall was brought back into public use and look forward to an exciting programme within first-class surroundings."

For full story see Friday's John O'Groat Journal.

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