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Opening on the Horizon for new hub

By Gordon Calder

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High Life Highland is due to reopen the former Caithness Horizons soon.
High Life Highland is due to reopen the former Caithness Horizons soon.

The former Caithness Horizons is expected to open in the summer under new management and a new name.

A sign at the front of the premises in High Street, Thurso, says: "The Highland Council is working with local and regional partners to reopen this facility as soon as possible."

It is understood the premises will be open in the summer although no date has been confirmed yet.

Preparations for the opening are continuing now lockdown restrictions have eased and it is expected the facility will open again to the public later in the year.

The museum and arts facility closed in February 2019 after encountering financial difficulties but is to be rebranded as the North Coast Visitor Centre and operated by High Life Highland on behalf of Highland Council. The local authority and Dounreay Site Restoration Limited will each provide £75,000 revenue funding for an initial three-year period.

Horizons was at the heart of Thurso since it opened in 2010, serving as a major draw for tourists but also as a community hub.

Its closure came as a blow but plans to reopen the building with different management and a new name have been welcomed by local people and community groups as well as businesses.

Alan McIvor, of the Thurso Heritage Society, said: "It’s been sorely missed by the community, and with a fresh new team behind it and rebranding, I’m sure they can make it a success even in these challenging times.

“High Life Highland are the best people to take it on, they have experience managing museums, catering facilities and archives.

“We wish them well and look forward to seeing the doors opening for business.”

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