“MUCH-needed” housing stock in the centre of Dingwall has been handed over to Highland Council by property developer Ark Estates, which has highlighted hopes the project will be a catalyst for further regeneration in the town.

The developer, headed by ex-Dingwall Academy pupil Willie Gray, has delivered a 30-flat development and retail units in the Highland town’s main pedestrianised shopping street.

Ark Estates said the CH Architecture & Oberlanders Architects-designed building, which lead contractor O’Brien Homes delivered for the developer, “is set to breathe new life into Dingwall city centre, providing a welcoming and contemporary residential area in the heart of the busy market town”.

As part of the redevelopment, two historic properties which face onto Dingwall High Street were restored and refurbished with the new residential blocks to the rear accessed by a passageway, opening on to a “landscaped pedestrian plaza”.

The multi-million-pound project comprises 30, one and two-bedroom flats and two retail units.

The residential units are set for occupation in the fourth quarter, managed by Highland Council and available to people on the Highland Housing Register.

Mr Gray said: “We’re absolutely delighted to bring this exciting new development for Dingwall to fruition. We have had to deal with site lockdowns due to Covid and the complications that brought but O’Brien Homes, Torrance Partnership, Ramsay & Chalmers and CDMM have done an excellent job in delivering the building.

“The development will provide high quality-housing for the area as well as two attractive small commercial units. The transformation of this part of Mart Road and the High Street will hopefully be a catalyst for further development and much-needed regeneration in the town.”

Highland Council housing manager north Rory MacLeod said, “The thirty flats are a much-needed addition to our housing stock, which will provide new homes in the centre of Dingwall.”

Councillor Graham Mackenzie said: “It is a real enhancement to the town centre and I hope the new tenants will be happy in their new homes.”

The two residential blocks in the development have been named “Morganti House”, after a well-known local restaurant and "Ross Buildings”, in a “nod to the previous council service point on the High Street.

Established in 2003, Ark Estates is a property investment and development company which leases property from a portfolio which includes retail, commercial, industrial and residential premises in various locations in Scotland.