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Highland Football Academy will be Caithness, Sutherland and Ross count centre

By Alan Hendry

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The Highland Football Academy in Dingwall will be the count centre for the Caithness, Sutherland and Ross constituency in next week's Scottish Parliament election, it has been confirmed.

The academy, a High Life Highland facility, will close to the public this Friday and reopen on Monday, May 10.

Two marquees are being erected at Queen’s Park, adjacent to Inverness Leisure in the Highland capital, to ensure Covid-safe conditions when counting votes in the region's other two constituencies.

The main marquee at Queen's Park will be used as the count centre for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch. The additional marquee will provide a socially distanced staff support facility.

Votes for the Inverness and Nairn constituency will be counted in the Inverness Leisure main sports hall.

Council chief executive Donna Manson, constituency and regional returning officer for Highland, explained: “We have carried out a full assessment of the requirements to provide safe election counts during the pandemic.

"Following consultation with the Electoral Management Board, regional returning officers within the Highlands and Islands and unions we concluded that three count centres are absolutely required to provide Covid-safe counting centres in order to follow government guidelines and maintain required social distancing.

“We have been working very closely with our partners at High Life Highland to provide safe and secure count centres in these very difficult times."

The election is on Thursday, May 6.

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