THE contract to build the much-anticipated Haven Centre has been awarded by the Elsie Normington Foundation.
Compass Building and Construction Services has been appointed to lead the £4.1 million project, which will see Scotland’s first multi-purpose centre for children and young adults with severe learning disabilities and complex needs built at a site in Murray Road, Smithton.
Compass will start work on site in January 2022, with the build expected to last approximately 12 months.
When complete, the Haven Centre will comprise three two-bedroom respite flats for young adults up to the age of 30, an indoor specialist play centre with childcare facilities, a community café, meeting spaces and outdoor garden.
Elsie Normington, chair of the Elsie Normington Foundation, said: “I am so very delighted we have reached this point after eight long years of fundraising. At the start of this year, we were hopeful of reaching this stage, so to be ending the year on this high is just a dream come true. The award of this contract marks a significant milestone in our journey to build the Haven Centre, which is not only much needed, but will be life-changing for children and young adults with severe learning disabilities and their families. It wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our generous fundraisers and donors, and I would like to personally thank everyone who has helped us in our journey so far. We are excited to get started on site and look forward to working with Compass Building and Construction Services on this innovative project in the new year.”
Thom Macleod, Managing Director of Compass Building and Construction, said: “As a local independent contractor, this is a significant award for our business, which will underpin local jobs and apprenticeships, and is the latest in a series of awards strengthening our association with the third sector. However, of greater importance is the positive contribution this building will represent for the local community and the wider Highlands and Islands. We are well aware of the hard work that has been invested by the various board members and trustees over the years since the charity was established. The onset of the building works is simply another important step along the journey in the realisation of what will be a modern, sector leading and life changing development for all users of the facility. As a Highland centred business, our involvement in the project sits well with our strong sense of corporate social responsibility and we very much look forward to working closely with the charity and their designers to play our part in delivering on the aims and aspirations of the charity, their design team and other associated stakeholders.”
The project will support around 50 jobs during the construction phase next year.
The Elsie Normington Foundation was set up as a charity in May 2013 to raise funds to build the Haven Centre and earlier this year reached its fundraising target of £4 million. The project has received support from the Scottish Government, The Big Lottery Fund and Highland Council.
Ongoing fundraising continues through the Elsie Normington Foundation to support operational costs and enhance services at the Haven Centre, which will address a shortage of accessible respite and services for children and young adults with severe, profound, and multiple learning disabilities and complex needs in the Highlands and Islands.