Moray’s council on the verge of finalizing the sale of Auchernack on Forres High Street
MORAY City Council is about to complete the sale of a major building in Forres High Street.
Council services were moved from Auchernack at the west end of Main Street to the Forres House Community Center on the east last January after the property was declared ‘surplus to requirements’ on December 18, 2020.
Marketing of the old care home then began with an asking price of over £ 110,000.
A council spokesperson confirmed, following the receipt of 11 notes of interest, a closing date of April 27, 2021.
He said: “As of the closing date a number of offers have been received and a sale to the highest bidder is in progress by the respective attorneys.
“As the sale price is higher than the asking price, the transaction is in progress using the delegated authorities and will be reported to the committee for note taking.”
The last director of the Auchernack nursing home – closed in July 1999 – invited former residents and staff to a meeting in the summer of 2019.
Morag Cunningham wanted to celebrate the residential building that provided living space for those who could no longer stay at home.
After the houses were closed, Auchernack was transformed into the council’s main access point in the Forres area. It was closed permanently a decade later to save the community money in the long run.
The local authority emptied the property before putting it on the market.
Councilor Lorna Creswell (Forres, Independent) explained that the design of the building was not suitable for a modern nursing home.
She said: “It was refurbished before the rental office and social service staff left the Tolbooth after Cameron Court was established for the elderly.
“I have many fond memories of the building which sits at a key location on the High Street.
“I was in favor of maintaining Forres House as a more versatile space that could be used by the community.
“We need to make sure there are spaces for youth and community groups to meet in their free time – a community asset transfer from City Hall and its renovations will support this given time.
The council spokesperson believes the sale of Auchernack will close soon.
He said: “Until then, the identity of the buyer and the sale price remain confidential. The money will be used to help fund the council’s capital investment program.
Councilor George Alexander (Forres, independent) has mixed feelings about the effects of the sale.
He said: “As a proponent of rationalizing the need for council-owned properties, I am happy that this building has been sold.
“At the same time, it is disappointing how this has resulted in a reduction in the space available for community functions at Forres House.”