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New Children's Home Earmarked For Wick

11th March 2011

The Highland Council's Housing and Social Work Committee has agreed in principle to build a new five-bed children's residential home in Wick at an estimated cost of 1.2 million.

Investigations are under way to identify a suitable site for the home, close to school and amenites, and secure the necessary permissions, subject to further decisions by the Council over funding.

The proposed new home will replace the existing children's unit at 50 Northcote Street, Wick, which was built in 1978 and, on opening, had capacity for 12 residents.

Councillors agree that the Northcote Street premises no longer meet modern requirements and that a new building will provide a more domestic and child-friendly atmosphere and appearance.

Councillor Bill Fernie, Wick, welcomed the decision to opt for a new home rather than refurbish the existing premises.

He said: "This major investment for Wick is very welcome. The premises at Northcote Street were at the forefront of childcare development when built but three decades on its institutional appearance and atmosphere are contrary to current needs and national trends.

"As councillors, we have a responsibility as corporate parents to ensure children in our care have the best possible access to facilities and accommodation. Our new home will provide a more homely atmosphere for children in our care."

The new home will be similar to new children's units at Ashton Road, Inverness, and Dochcarty Brae, Dingwall.

 

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