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Thurso councillor welcomes drainage improvements at the Dammies


By Alan Hendry

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There have been long-running concerns about the Dammies but now work is in progress to replace damaged drainage systems.
There have been long-running concerns about the Dammies but now work is in progress to replace damaged drainage systems.

A project to replace damaged drainage systems at Sir George’s Park in Thurso has been welcomed by local Highland councillor Karl Rosie.

Contractor Alan Gow began the work on January 10, with the first phase to renew the outfall drainage to the River Thurso completed on the adjoining property last week.

The second phase to replace damaged drainage on the pitch areas is now under way, with a project completion estimate of February 5.

The park is known locally as the Dammies.

Councillor Rosie (Thurso and Northwest Caithness) said: “Over the past two years regular discussion between ward councillors, Thurso’s football clubs and Caithness AFA representatives have been facilitated by High Life Highland's Willie Durrand. That has enabled an understanding of the issues that had seen use of the playing areas interrupted due to drainage issues and issues with the changing rooms.

"The ingress of tree roots and collapsed carrier pipe was eventually identified as being the cause of the flooding issues by Highland Council's roads and amenities teams. I would like to thank them for the assistance with that and in providing the project scope for the drainage refurbishment.

Drainage pipe installed at Sir George’s Park.
Drainage pipe installed at Sir George’s Park.

"Last year was the 150th anniversary of the Dammies and the health and wellbeing benefits that these green space areas bring to children and adults are multiple, and go way beyond football itself. There were legitimate fears being expressed that the playing surface itself could be lost because of waterlogging if the drainage issues were not addressed.

"Finding the funding for the drainage project proved to be a real headache with so many competing interests and the Scottish Government's Place Based Investment Programme has enabled this resolution. The completion of this project, along with refurbishment works to the changing room facilities and a mini floodlit pitch on the northern section of the Dammies, will enable year-round use of the facility."

Thurso FC's North Caledonian League derby against Halkirk United this Saturday, originally scheduled for the Dammies, has been switched to Halkirk's Morrison Park because of the drainage work. The Vikings were able to play on the pitch last weekend when they lost 2-1 to St Duthus.

The work at Sir George’s Park is expected to be complete by February 5.
The work at Sir George’s Park is expected to be complete by February 5.

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