Development Trust prepares to take over management of Wake Caravan and Campsite

Wick Development Trust Chairman Jonathan Miller (second from right) and directors Jennifer Richard (left) and Elie Lamont at the caravan site yesterday with Alistair Jack, Caithness Voluntary Group Development Trust Support Officer. Photo: Alan Hendry

The Wick Development Trust is preparing to take over management of the town’s caravan and camping site in time for the major tourist season.

The intent is to operate the facility as a community project, with profits ultimately directed toward local renovation projects.

The Highland Council is seeking new operators for the famous river site after the couple who have run the site for the past 15 years, Tricia and William Miller, decided to retire.

The Development Fund announced this week that it had submitted an offer to the council to lease the site. The bid has been submitted by the local authority and the site is currently under bid, pending final arrangements and signing of the lease agreement by the fund.

It is hoped that the site will open its doors for business in early June. The secretariat says it will recruit locally and nationally the guards.

The Trust is working on a new website and reservation system and hopes to have them up and running by the middle of this month.

Chairman Jonathan Miller said: “We are delighted that Highland Council has given us this opportunity. It is a very exciting project.

“We intend to operate the site as a community project where, after initial reinvestment on the site to improve the facilities, all profits will be used to help fund community projects for the Wake renovation.”

Wick is located on North Coast 500 Road, and Mr. Miller emphasized the importance of tourism to the local economy.

“The importance of the Caravan Wake and camping site cannot be overstated,” he said. “Being the only site in Wake dedicated to campers, motorhomes, caravans and campgrounds, it is imperative that the site operate throughout the tourist season.

“There is a huge demand for this type of facility in Caithness, and if Wake is not able to offer this to the tourists, the impact on the city’s economy will be felt by many.

“The tourism industry is a huge part of the city’s summer economy, and the tourists who use this site are a major part of that. It is a beautiful, mature site in an amazing location that so many people have enjoyed over the years and we look forward to continuing this tradition for the benefit of everyone in and around the city.”

Support was provided by Alistair Jack, Caithness Voluntary Group Development Trust Support Officer.

In January, Tricia and William Miller said they were looking to spend more time for themselves after working long hours seven days a week throughout the summer months.

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