Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Great value Unlimited Broadband from an award winning provider  

 

Finally Two Derelict Buildings In Wick's High Street To Be Demolished

29th June 2020

Photo Gallery

Photograph of Finally Two Derelict Buildings In Wick's High Street To Be Demolished

Two prominent derelict buildings in Wick High Street are to be demolished following decades lying empty. Numbers 30 and 126 (known locally as Dominoes (the former cinema) and Sloans are to benefit from demolition and site clearance, before ownership is returned to the local community.

See the latest photos of The Two Buildings and how they look today in the photo gallery link above

The deal follows months of negotiations sparked by the town centre regeneration led by Ward 3 councillors. The Highland Council accessed grant funding from the Scottish Government's Vacant and Derelict Land Fund and Town Centre Fund. This funding was provided to the Highland Housing Alliance (HHA) to acquire both properties and land and manage the process.

HHA will now demolish both buildings and ensure the safe removal of all debris and contamination. Both sites, previously owned by Argyle Properties [Dundee] Ltd, will then be transferred to the recently established Wick Development Trust (branded ‘Wick's Heart') for redevelopment.

Speaking about the project, Gail Matheson from Highland Housing Alliance, said: "This is great news for Wick. Nobody likes to see derelict buildings on the High Street, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to work with the Highland Council and the Wick Development Trust to safely remove these eyesores from the High Street. The cleared sites will present some great redevelopment opportunities."

Nicola Sinclair, Ward 3 councillor and Acting Chair of the Wick Development Trust, said: "This is a major step forward for Wick town centre, which has been many months in the making. On behalf of Ward 3 members I want to express our sincere gratitude to Highland Council officers and HHA for their expertise, professionalism and dedication in getting us to this point. I know the community will be pleased to see an end to these eyesore buildings, and as interim chair of Wick's Heart I will help the public to discuss further development and access funding. This can be done with confidence since the cleared sites will not incur costs to the community, and for the first time we will have the power locally to move forward with a meaningful regeneration of our town centre. It's a bright light in these dark times."

Councillor Sinclair also paid tribute to her Caithness colleagues, in particular Councillor Raymond Bremner, for this cross-party collaborative project.

Councillor Bremner said: "From the first pictures we took of derelict buildings in the summer of 2017 we were committed to tackling the problem in the town centre and to seriously deliver on regeneration. We knew it wouldn't be easy, many had tried before us and the problem has been with us for decades. We also knew that a number of folks in our community thought that we should just have the ability to execute compulsory purchase orders. That couldn't have been further from the truth. Nothing we looked at was easy. However, we were determined and hook or by crook, here we are. Two of the most well-known eyesores in the town centre, undoubtedly fine buildings in their time, will finally be no more. This has been a long time in coming but I hope the town's folk will be happy that the buildings will now be removed, and regeneration of the areas will now take place. I'd like to echo the thanks that has been given to the multiple teams, agencies, particularly HHA, and folks who have supported my colleagues and I in getting to this stage. What happens now will be for others to decide depending on socio-economic factors and regeneration plans but now is simply a moment to reflect on what we have achieved and to believe that if we can do this, over time, we can have the belief in the vision of further regeneration."

The Highland Council stressed its vision for continued regeneration in Wick, with Councillor Matthew Reiss, Chair of the Caithness Committee, saying: "Removing the derelict buildings at number 30 and 126 on the High Street is a significant milestone and indicates our continued commitment to regeneration in Wick."

Missives have already been exchanged and demolition work is expected to start soon. It is hoped that both sites will be ready for redevelopment by late 2020/early 2021. In the months ahead, Wick Development Trust will take the opportunity to discuss ideas for the potential use of the sites with the local community. At a time when communities have pulled together more than ever before during the Coronavirus pandemic, it is hoped that local people will have new and creative ideas for the sites that could benefit the people of Wick in the long term.

The former cinema

Located on the High Street at the corner of Oag Lane. The Pavilion Cinema was opened in 1930 as a skating rink. By 1934 it had been converted into a cinema, operated by Wick Playhouse Ltd., and films were booked at the Playhouse, Inverness. By 1937 it was operated by A.B. King's Caledonian Associated Cinemas Ltd. It had a 26 feet wide proscenium.

In the 1950's, when it was equipped with CinemaScope, the proscenium was 35 feet wide. By 1980, it was still operated by Caledonian Associated Cinemas, but had gone over to part time bingo on certain nights a week.

It was later converted into a nightclub, and was gutted by a fire in 1996. Only the lower portions of the front and side walls remained.

In recent years the derelict walls were painted blue although no one was sure why.

See more old photos of the Pavilion cinema

 

Related Businesses

 

Related Articles

28/9/2020
Consultation On Removal Of Another 107 Phone Boxes In Highland
Second phase of Consultation on BT's 2020 proposal to remove 107 public payphones from across Highland/ With just two weeks to go before the consultation closes, Highland Council is seeking final feedback from the public on BT's proposal to remove 107 public payphones from across the Highland region.   This second phase of consultation will close on 10/10/2020.  
28/9/2020
New route for Council staff to whistleblow confidentially with confidence
Proposals that could provide Highland Council employees with a new ‘independent, dedicated and confidential route' to report malpractice and wrongdoing concerns have received support from Highland Councillors.   Following robust discussion, Members of the Audit and Scrutiny Committee have endorsed the movement of the management of the Council’s Whistleblowing Policy and its processes to the Council’s Fraud Team.  
24/9/2020
Councillors commend carbon reduction measures being achieved in Highland
Highland Councillors have commended the Council's ongoing efforts to reduce carbon consumption over the past year.   Members have welcomed the information that the Council has saved over 6,000 tonnes of carbon this year.  
23/9/2020
Virtual Education In Highland - Supportive, Interactive, EngagingThumbnail for article : Virtual Education In Highland - Supportive, Interactive, Engaging
Virtual education in Highland - Supportive, Interactive, Engaging.   The Highland Council can support and deliver education to any pupils who are asked to self-isolate by the Health Protection Team, in all of our 203 schools across the region.  
21/9/2020
School Access For Highland Highlife Offers Support To Young PeopleThumbnail for article : School Access For Highland Highlife Offers Support To Young People
Young people at school are the winners as a result of discussions between High Life Highland and The Highland Council that will see the Charity's staff phased back into schools after the October break.   Speaking about the arrangement, High Life Highland Chairman, Ian Ross said, "I am delighted that once again our partnership working arrangements with colleagues in The Highland Council mean that High Life Highland staff will be able to recommence their work with young people during the school day and within school buildings.  
18/9/2020
Highland Council Calls On UK Government To Use Its Powers To Help Reduce Fuel PovertyThumbnail for article : Highland Council Calls On UK Government To Use Its Powers To Help Reduce Fuel Poverty
The Highland Council is calling on the UK Government to help resolve the inequity of fuel poverty experienced in the Highlands of Scotland where people pay more for fuel and energy than other regions in the UK.   Leader of The Highland Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson has written to the UK Government's Minister of State (Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth) The Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP calling on the government to replace the current electricity distribution system with one that replicates that of gas and telecoms and share the cost of energy distribution equally across the UK.  
14/9/2020
Highland Council to Support Climate Week 2020
To mark Scotland's Climate Week for 2020, which runs from today until the 20th September, The Highland Council has organised a range of virtual events to share information and seek views from Highland residents and Council employees on climate related topics.   Whilst the circumstances for Climate Week 2020 are very different to previous years, it still provides an important opportunity for organisations and communities to celebrate and showcase what they are doing to tackle climate change.  
14/9/2020
Highland Council Trading Standards warns of hoax lottery scam mailings
Highland residents are being warned that letters claiming they have won a share of £425,000 in a ‘postcode lottery' is a scam.   The letters appear to be targeting the Skye area but are likely to be sent to various addresses across the Highland area.  
14/9/2020
Highland Council Appoints Interim Executive Chief Officer - Health And Social Care
Fiona Malcolm, has been appointed by The Highland Council as Interim Executive Chief Officer with immediate effect for Health and Social Care, pending recruitment of the permanent ECO post which is currently taking place.   A qualified solicitor, Fiona has worked within the legislative and policy frameworks in place for both children's care and adult social care since joining The Highland Council in 2001.  
12/9/2020
Highland Councillors agree proposed distribution of Crown Estates revenue funding
Communities in The Highland Council area are to benefit from Crown Estates funding to be disbursed by the local authority.   Councillors have agreed a funding distribution model to enable the disbursement of over £3million Crown Estates funds across the region.