Black Isle care facility aims to “raise the bar” on care home living

24 March 2021

Pictured: Architect Bryan McFadzean, Brian Devlin of Black Isle Cares, Ron Taylor, MD of Parklands Care Homes and Sharon Reid, manager of Eilean Dubh care home.

A new £5.5 million care home on the Black Isle will welcome its first residents next week, with operator Parklands Care Homes confident it will “raise the bar” with its mix of elegance and state of the art facilities.

Eilean Dubh in Fortrose is the latest addition to the Parklands group.

The new care home features 40 spacious en-suite bedrooms, each with Smart TVs with video networking facilities so that residents can stay connected with family and friends around the world.

Eilean Dubh has been built in the style of a farm steading to reflect its rural setting, with a two storey anchor building and two smaller single storey wings.

The main focal point is the large entrance area which serves as the social hub of the care home and includes a hair salon, seating areas and a cafe bar. This will also house activities with local schools and nurseries, and indoor musical performances, once Covid restrictions allow.

There is space to relax and unwind throughout Eilean Dubh, with several quiet rooms and lounges.

Eilean Dubh enjoys a spectacular setting near the popular beauty spot of Chanonry Point, overlooking the Moray Firth. A number of bedrooms offer floor to ceiling windows with breath-taking views and residents can also savour the view from several of the home’s lounges, and its courtyard garden. A new balcony is to be added to the first floor this summer to provide further outdoor space for residents to relax and enjoy the picturesque setting.

The care home includes images of local landmarks and wildlife captured by amateur photographer Duncan Rennie.

Due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, residents will enter the care home in a phased manner over the next few weeks.

Around 50 full time equivalent jobs will be created once the care home is fully operational, injecting around £1 million into the local economy through wages and the supply chain.

Honouring a pledge it made when planning consent was first sought, Parklands will maintain a 50/50 split between public and privately funded beds.

Ron Taylor, managing director of Parklands Care Homes, said: “It’s over five years since we first announced our plans to open a care home on the Black Isle. It took many years of campaigning to get this project off the ground and I want to put on record my thanks to those in the community who stood behind us from the outset.

“Among the many obstacles we have faced, dealing with a global pandemic was not one we ever anticipated. It has taken a herculean effort to complete Eilean Dubh during the Covid-19 shutdown and I want to thank everyone involved in the design and construction project.

“We have really sought to raise the bar and create an elegant and contemporary home for the Black Isle, and I think that we have succeeded. In Eilean Dubh, we have a superb new care home offering state of the art facilities, Highland flair and arguably one of the best views in the Highlands. I hope that our new residents will enjoy their new life at Eilean Dubh.

“As we welcome our first residents, we also look forward to welcoming members of the community into our new home once Covid restrictions allow. Our homes have always been rooted in their local community and I know our new team is eager to start building links with local nurseries, schools, churches and community groups.”

Pictured: Ron Taylor gives MSP Kate Forbes a virtual tour of Eilean Dubh.

During a virtual visit to Eilean Dubh, Kate Forbes MSP said: "After years of campaigning for better care home provision on the Black Isle, I am delighted to see Eilean Dubh care home about to welcome its first residents. Certainly, few care homes in Scotland can rival such a picturesque view onto Chanonry Point.

"This has been a combined effort between the local community and Parklands, and also creates new jobs in the area at a time of uncertainty.

"Having passed and also visited the site during construction, it is wonderful to see a state-of-the-art care home in place, and I hope that residents and staff will be very happy here."

Brian Devlin who Chairs Black Isle Cares, a charity supporting elderly people on the Black Isle, said: “I frequently drive past the building and have seen it gradually evolve into the stunning structure it is now. I’m immensely pleased and proud to see Eilean Dubh reach completion and can’t wait to see it fully operational. The Black Isle needs this facility and Black Isle Cares is pleased to have played our part in campaigning for it.”

Bryan McFadzean, Director of CRGP Architects, said: “We are delighted to have been involved from the outset in the design and delivery of such an important care facility on the Black Isle. CRGP wish Parklands and the local community the greatest success when the facility opens next week."