Work on new highland hospice begins

A view of what the new Highland Hospice will look like.
A view of what the new Highland Hospice will look like.
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Work has begun on a new multi-million hospice in the Highland capital.

Work has begun on a new multi-million hospice in the Highland capital.

A crane has moved onto the riverside site of the new inpatient care unit to begin construction of its massive steel skeleton.

The new building will be an upgraded and enlarged version of the current Highland Hospice, which has served the region for more than 26 years.

Despite the opening due to be late next year, the charity is still £1.1million short of its public fundraising total of £4.5million. The remaining £3million of the funding has come from hospice reserves.

Chief executive Kenny Steele said he was “very confident” that enough funds would be raised, but admitted that it could have an impact on future service if the target was not met.

Contractors Morrison Construction hope to have the steel frame completed this week.

Mr Steele said he hoped the work on the building would prompt support for the appeal.

He added: “We’ve got about a year left to run so we’ve got a year to find that £1.1million which will be particularly important to us.

“Achieving all that fundraising will mean we end up with a fantastic building but also an organisation that’s not financially strapped in terms of what we can do to go on and develop services.

“Based on the response that we’ve had from the Highland community we’ve seen incredible generosity thus far and I think when people start to see the building go up that makes it a bit more real.”

However, he said that the hospice could face challenges if it cannot raise the remaining cash.

He added: “The organisation will struggle to complete the build to the standards we want to achieve but also Highland Hospice isn’t about buildings.

“It’s about delivering services and it will impact on some of our potential because we’ve got a lot of services we want to develop out there in the community.

“Obviously all that takes resources and if we don’t have the funding to do these things it will limit us as an organisation which is why achieving that £1.1million is very, very important to us.”