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Community / New future sought for Sandness Dr’s Hut

The doctor's hut in Sandness. Photo © Google 2021

A FUNDRAISER has been launched to help the Sandness community give its ‘doctors hut’ a new lease of life.

The local community development group has set a £1,500 target, with nearly £700 raised so far.

The doctor’s consulting rooms, known locally as the Dr’s Hut, were originally gifted to the community in the early 1900s and were used by visiting GPs for local surgeries.

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A new building was built next to the local hall in 1986 as its replacement.

The Dr’s Consulting Room trustees have looked after the replacement building on behalf of the community for many years, renting it to NHS Shetland for use by Walls Health Centre.

But in recent years local needs and healthcare practice have changed, with the building falling out of use in 2018.

The health board continued to pay rent until the end of 2019 and it still covers utility bills at the moment.

However, in June this year, trustees received written notice confirming the Doctor’s Consulting Rooms are no longer required for use by the local GP and NHS Shetland will cease responsibility for the utility bills as of 31 December.

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The community group says the building is in good repair, and residents do not want to see it fall into ruin.

Before the Covid-19 lockdown the community discussed possible options for the building’s future.

The Sandness Hall recently committed to taking it on, with a view to refurbishing the property and using it for short-stay accommodation.

“It is hoped the new lease of life will generate income to cover costs of the building’s upkeep, add to community funds, create a viable community building and local part-time employment,” the fundraising page said.

But the group said it desperately needs funding to take the project forward.

“We need to cover legal costs of transfer of ownership from the Dr’s Consulting Rooms Trust to the Sandness Public Hall; for planning permissions for change of use and for the refurbishment,” the fundraising page stated.

People can donate to the fundraiser here.

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