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Should Caithness Horizons Scale Back To Be Run By Volunteers Like Other Groups

24th February 2019

Photograph of Should Caithness Horizons Scale Back To Be Run By Volunteers Like Other Groups

With the announcement of the closure of Caithness Horizons is it time to reflection whether there is longer life in volunteers running these places. The fact that grants have been a big part of the running has always put it at risk if as now grant funding is being seriously cut back as part of government austerity measures.

Caithness Horizons: Showcases the rich and distinctive heritage, wildlife and ecology of this county. Located in the restored Thurso Town Hall and adjoining Carnegie Library, it comprises of a museum, interactive exhibitions and displays along with a cafe. A great resource but with high running costs compared to others in the county.

Here is a list of visitor attractions in Caithness that are almost all run by volunteers and much less susceptible to closure when times get hard. With very tight running costs and almost no salaries they can run and only now and then obtain grants for specific aspects or running cost which are not long term. Does their way of working offer solution to keep Caithness Horizons going in a different management structure. Talks are still ongoing so we wait and see.

Meantime consider this list of local groups still working at various times of the years to suit local conditions and doing a great job. One or two have part-time staff as well as volunteers and volunteer committees.

Wick Heritage Centre: An award-winning museum run by volunteers from the Wick Society, it tells the story of Wick's rise to prominence as a major herring port.

Dunbeath Heritage Centre: Dunbeath Preservation Trust operates this focal point for the rich culture and heritage of the Dunbeath area, concentrating on the life and works of locally-born author Neil Gunn.

Mary-Ann's Cottage: A small homestead with outbuildings run by Caithness Heritage Trust and situated a few miles from Dunnet Head. It remains as an example of the way in which crofters lived and worked before industrialisation.
Waterlines: Tells the story of Lybster's rapid rise to become one of Scotland's foremost herring ports.

Caithness Broch Centre: Opened in the summer of 2009 at Auckengill, the centre explores the rich archaeological landscape of the far north of Scotland.

Castlehill Heritage Centre: Celebrates the heyday of the Castlehill flagstone trade and many other aspects of local life in Castletown.

Clan Gunn Heritage Centre: Located in the 18th-century Old Parish Church of Latheron, this museum tells the story of a proud Scottish clan descended from the Vikings.

Laidhay Croft Museum: A croft heritage centre located in a typical ‘longhouse' croft building, it celebrates the area's history of rural life.


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