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Contract For Thurso Library Awarded

6th October 2014

Photograph of Contract For Thurso Library Awarded

High Life Highland (HLH) has announced that that the contract to refurbish Thurso Library has been awarded to local company O'Brien Construction Ltd. The work is set to commence on the 27th October 2014 with completion expected end of June 2015 and the library should re-open to the public early July 2015.

Architects LDN from Forres have been working closely with HLH, The Highland Council and O'Brien to provide a fully refurbished library incorporating enhanced community facilities.

An internal design team will be engaged over the next few weeks to develop plans that will transform the library into an attractive, vibrant community hub that delivers a dynamic 21st century service while celebrating Thurso Library's beautiful original design features.

The refurbishment will include new shelving and furnishings throughout, a wide range of new stock, a new magazine collection, a new coffee area, the introduction of free Wi-Fi and new self-service technology which will allow staff to spend more time helping customers.

The library will also offer a new bookable community room and a full programme of events and activities will be arranged in liaison with the local community. A team of volunteers from the local high school has already been identified to assist with the design of the teenage area and the selection of resources for young people in the area.
Ian Murray Chief Executive of High Life Highland said "This is an exciting project which will put the library back at the heart of the community providing services that will benefit our local customers and visitors alike. We will continue to work closely across the community with a wide range of existing and new partners to maximise library access and use in the future."

Councillor Alasdair Christie, Chair of The Highland Council's, Education, Adult and Children's Services said: "I am delighted that the contract has been awarded to refurbish this 19th Century building with a historic past and now home to Thurso Library. The works will ensure the future provision of a first class 21st Century Library Service for all to enjoy."

The Thurso library is presently at a temporary location in Princes Street.

Thurso Library - Photographer - Bill Fernie - September 2014

About The Building
The Thurso library building was formerly 'The Miller Institution'
The building was originally a boys' school known as the Miller Institution, later called the Miller Academy.
The Miller Institution, built between 1859 and 1862, was founded by Alexander Miller. Miller, a Thurso native was initially a merchant in the town before he turned to farming. Miller inherited a sizeable inheritance from his uncle, a South American merchant, and part of this money he used to establish the Miller Institution. Miller's second cousin, the Rev. Dr. Alexander Miller, minister of the South United Free Church of Buckie, Banffshire, was also a benefactor of the Institution.



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