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Community council in bid to try and improve 'shabby' look of Thurso town centre

By Gordon Calder

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A BID is to be made to try and improve the "shabby" look of Thurso town centre. Community councillors feel the number of empty shops gives the place a rundown appearance and they want to try and do something about it.

They agreed to form a sub-committee with the aim of making the area more attractive for local shoppers and tourists.

Louise Smith said: "Visitors coming to Thurso get a negative impression of the town when they see shops empty and the place run down.

"I take great exception to the comments being made on social media. Thurso is an attractive place but people don't see that because it is so run down. I wonder if we could come together to try and do something about it," she said at last week's meeting.

Corinne Nicklin said the impression of the town is not helped when weeds grow around the place. "They not only look unsightly but can break up the infrastructure which then has to be repaired and leads to bigger bills in the long run," she stated.

It was suggested that placing attractive photos of the town on empty shop windows would be an easy way to improve the look of the area.

Community councillor, Alexander Glasgow, said the appearance of the buildings is the responsibility of the owners. Regards the look of the town centre, he asked why there is fencing round the former M&Co shop in High Street and wondered if there are any issues with the premises.

Thurso and Northwest Caithness Highland councillor, Matthew Reiss, said fencing around a building is usually erected because "there is a problem" and thought signs should be put up there for safety reasons.

Treasurer, Elspeth Husband, suggested inviting the owner to a meeting to get an update on what is happening there and to find out what is planned for the property.

Ian McElroy said some shops do look "shabby" and proposed setting up a sub-committee of members to try and encourage the owners to do something about them.

His plan was backed by members who agreed to form a sub-committee to tackle the task. It will include, Ian McElroy; Kyle Manson; Ian Carlisle; Corinne Nicklin; Billy Sinclair; Louise Smith and Alexander Glasgow.

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