A NEW Tain health centre, which will house two GP practices and a dental surgery, is set to open to the public in the Easter of 2014.
NHS Highland revealed this week that the work on the building – which will replace the current cramped shared medical practice – will begin in spring 2013 and is due to be completed in a year.
The Tain Health Centre Project Group oversees the development of the new premises and members heard details of the progress of the plans at its most recent monthly meeting in July.
The new centre will be the first "Design, Build, Finance and Maintain" contract in Scotland involving three projects across two health board areas. It is being taken forward under the Scottish Futures Trust hub delivery process.
The building will be delivered and maintained by hub North Scotland Ltd throughout its first 25 years, after which ownership is transferred to NHS Highland.
The design of the building was agreed by representatives of both practices and the dental and community services which will use the building.
NHS Highland said the drawings are on display within the existing health centre and work will now continue on the finer detail of the internal space.
Work on the access road began on July 9 and is due for completion in early October, it includes a puffin crossing for Craighill Primary School.
The plans for the health centre on the site of a current recreational field near Craighill Terrace, were approved by planners in June.
The North Planning Applications Committee was told the building would provide badly-needed, fit-for-purpose buildings for the healthcare of Tain.
The existing medical practice is located in a mid-1970s building at the bottom of Scotsburn Road. The dental practice is on the upper floor of a High Street building.
The two GP practices of Tain and Fearn Area Medical Practice and the Tain and District Medical Group will be on the ground floor.
The dental surgery, multipurpose room and staff facilities will be located on the upper floor. The centre will also be a base for nursing staff, midwives, physiotherapists, podiatrist and visiting specialists.