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Planning application for £1 million Dunbeath health hub lodged with Highland Council

By Gordon Calder

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A PLAN to build a new £1 million health and wellbeing hub in Dunbeath has taken a step forward after a planning application was lodged with Highland Council.

The application is for a single-storey building on a site between the existing facility in Neil Gunn Road and the medical centre and includes space for car parking.

The new hub will be bigger and provide more activities and services for the users and will enable hairdressers, podiatrists and physiotherapists to bring their services to the community. It will also offer a venue for the NHS Highland Near Me service which allows patients to have appointments with healthcare professionals using a video call rather than attending in person.

The application from the Dunbeath and District Centre (DCC) was lodged with the local authority at the start of the month and is said to "under consideration".

Dunbeath and District Centre jigsaw project.
Dunbeath and District Centre jigsaw project.

Earlier this year, Highland Council approved a community asset transfer for land at Achorn Road which would house the new building.

Since then, architects have been appointed to produce a detailed design while the business case will be used to support funding applications.

As previously reported, the project is viewed as 'a game-changer' for the service DDC provides for elderly, infirm and other vulnerable individuals and families.

The existing base, built 30 years ago to serve as a day care centre, can no longer cope with the extra demands being placed on it. Its replacement will almost triple its size and enable it to expand its catchment area.

DDC's value was underlined during the pandemic when three part-time members of staff and 30-plus volunteers delivered more than 50 meals a day and made hundreds of phone calls to check on and chat with centre users.

It also established a Sharing Shack which provided food, toiletries and sanitary products.

The plans for the hub were supported by north MP, Jamie Stone, during a visit to the centre when he heard about the new-build Jigsaw Project.

It is hoped the health and wellbeing hub will be ready by March 2024.

The current centre has been earmarked as a holiday/respite break for individuals with special needs.

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