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End Of An Era At Wick Council Offices

18th January 2013

Photograph of End Of An Era At Wick Council Offices

Offices of The Highland Council at Market Place, Wick, will close their doors for the last time at 3 pm today (Friday) ahead of an 8 million redevelopment of the site as modern Council office accommodation.

Eighty staff, including those at the Service Point, are relocating to Government Buildings, Girnigoe Street while the new offices are built at Market Place.

All business currently undertaken at the Market Place will continue at Girnigoe Street from Monday 21 January. The Service Point will open at 9.30 am.

The existing telephone lines will be discontinued from the date of the move.

New numbers are as follows:

01349 886606 General enquiries;

01349 886601 Roads and Street Lighting;

01349 886602 House repairs, applications and rent enquiries;

01349 886603 Domestic Special Uplifts and Bins, Abandoned Vehicles, Fly Tipping, Dog Fouling and Pest Control;

01349 886604 Blue Badge, Travel and National Entitlement Cards;

01349 886605 Make a payment by Debit or Credit Card;

01349 886608 ePlanning;

01349 886657 Election helpline; and

01955 609524 Registration of births deaths and marriages.

The Council has awarded a contract to Morgan Sindall to carry out the redevelopment of Market Place. This will see demolition of the old listed building at Market Place and refurbishment/restoration of the adjoining, Stafford Place Buildings, retaining the listed faade, to accommodate 140 Council staff currently based in a number of offices in Wick.

The new building will be built on three floors to the front and two floors at the rear.

When the new Council offices open, staff presently based at High Street (Social Work) and Rhind House (Education Culture and Sport) will move there.

A separate contract is also being progressed for the refurbishment of Wick Town Hall, including installation of a lift to make it fully accessible.

Wick councillor Bill Fernie said,"We are very pleased that finally after many years that the council offices in Wick will be fit for purpose and be able to continue to offer services to the north area of Highland and be more efficient as a building. There will be savings in the amalgamation of several buildings and modern heating and insulation will also help but the main thing is to offer better public services and retained in the centre of one of our main towns."

Councillor Fernie commented further, "The new council offices are just the start this year as we will also see the much bigger shot in the arm for the are when the new schools contract commences in August and another small contract for a new Children's home. This will be the largest capital spending by highland council in any town for education and is huge shot in the arm for the economy creating much needed work in the area over the next 3 years."

 

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