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Derelict Wick duo due for demolition in town centre regeneration drive

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June 30 2020

Derelict Wick duo due for demolition in town centre regeneration drive

Wick Development Trust is to clear the way for a community takeover of two derelict town centre sites by pressing ahead with a demolition programme funded by the Scottish Government’s Vacant & Derelict Land Fund and the Town Centre Fund.

The initiative will fell the former Sloans Building at 126 High Street and a fire ravaged 1930s cinema further along at 30 High Street, enabling both sites to be transferred to the Trust for redevelopment.

Nicola Sinclair, acting chair of the Wick Development Trust, said: "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 Bremner added: "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.”

Highland Housing Alliance will commence demolition shortly with both sites expected to be ready for redevelopment by early 2021.

Only the shell of the cinema remains following a 1996 fire
Only the shell of the cinema remains following a 1996 fire
Protracted efforts to assume ownership of both sites from Argyle Properties [Dundee] Ltd have been underway since 2017
Protracted efforts to assume ownership of both sites from Argyle Properties [Dundee] Ltd have been underway since 2017

2 Comments

Graeme McCormick
#1 Posted by Graeme McCormick on 30 Jun 2020 at 17:48 PM
One wonders if these properties would have lain so long in their dilapidated state if there had been Annual Ground Rent levied on all ground and properties
Neil McAllister
#2 Posted by Neil McAllister on 1 Jul 2020 at 16:04 PM
#1 - Probably not, but I have heard that the reason so many of the old mills were retained in Dundee, and then subsequently able to be converted, is because Dundee did not tax vacant buildings. In other cities that did, such buildings would have been demolished. I don't know whether that is true or not.

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