Moray Council close to completing sale of Auchernack on Forres High Street
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MORAY Council is close to completing the sale of a prominent Forres High Street building.
Council services were relocated from Auchernack at the west end of the high street to Forres House Community Centre in the east last January after the property was declared "surplus to requirements" on December 18, 2020.
Marketing of the former care home then started with an asking price of offers over £110,000.
A council spokesperson has confirmed, following receipt of 11 notes of interest, a closing date was set for April 27, 2021.
He said: "At the closing date, a number of offers were received and a sale to the highest offerer is being progressed by respective solicitors.
"As the sale price is above the asking price, the transaction is being progressed using delegated powers and will be reported to committee for noting."
The last manager at Auchernack Care Home – closed in July, 1999 – invited former residents and staff to a reunion in the summer of 2019.
Morag Cunningham wanted to celebrate the residential building which provided living space for those who could no longer remain in their own homes.
After the homes closure, Auchernack was turned into the main council access point in the Forres area. It was closed permanently a decade later to save money for the local authority in the long term.
The local authority emptied the property before putting it on the market.
Councillor Lorna Creswell (Forres, Independent) explained that the building's design was not suitable as a modern care home.
She said: "It was renovated before rent office and social work staff moved in from the Tolbooth after Cameron Court was established for older people.
"I have many fond memories of the building that is on a key location on the High Street.
"I was in favour of retaining Forres House as a more versatile space that could be used by the community.
"We need to ensure there are spaces for youngsters and community groups to meet in their leisure time – a community asset transfer of the town hall and it’s renovations will support this given time."
The council spokesperson believes Auchernack's sale will be concluded soon.
He said: "Until then the identity of the purchaser and sale price remain confidential. The monies will be used to help fund the council’s capital investment programme."
Councillor George Alexander (Forres, Independent) has mixed feelings about the effects of the sale.
He said: "As one who advocates a rationalisation of the need for council owned properties, I am pleased that this building has been sold off.
"At the same time, it is disappointing to see how this has resulted in a reduction of space available for community functions in Forres House."