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Reached our fundraising target

Thanks to the generous support of many individuals and businesses who care about the sustainable future of Coul Links and the socio-economic wellbeing of our area, we are delighted to announce that we have reached our fundraising target of £150,000.  This will allow us to fund all the surveys and expertise required to submit our full planning application, which we hope to do later this Autumn.

Register for C4C’s Virtual Pre-Planning Webinar, 30th August

C4C will hold an on-line (Zoom) webinar presentation on 30th August, to present the plans shown in our recent exhibition at Embo community centre. All interested parties are welcome.

The Zoom link will be open from 6pm, with a presentation of the plans starting at 6.30pm. The link will remain open until 8 pm.  All interested parties will be able to log on and submit comments or questions about the plan. If the numbers attending are large, we may not be able to answer all the questions on the night, but will do so within a week.

Attendees need to register in advance for this webinar, by clicking on this link or pasting it into their browser:

After registering, attendees will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

We look forward to seeing many of our friends and supporters.

C4C to commence planning consultation period

C4C is pleased to say that the more formal stages of our planning application are now under way. We anticipate lodging the next stage – the Planning Application Notice (PAN) – very soon. This notifies Highland Council and other relevant parties that a planning application will be lodged in due course and will involve public consultation events.

We have worked hard with our new team to review the concerns raised by Scottish Ministers in the previous application. We are excited by the changes made from the previous plan and firmly believe we can deliver a world-class golf course that will benefit our local area AND sustainably improve the environment at Coul Links.

See Northern Times article

We will shortly be launching a new Planning page on this website to advise of next steps.

C4C submits Scoping Planning Application

C4C have submitted a Scoping Planning Application to Highland Council for new, environmentally friendly Coul Links Golf Course.

BBC News

Golf Course Architecture


Northern Times

Golf Business News

The National-


Daily Advent

Press and Journal

Result of the community ballot was a resounding YES!

C4C are delighted to report that the result of the East Sutherland Coul Links community ballot was a resounding


An overwhelming 69.2% of voters said yes to the question “Do you support a community planning application for an environmentally sensitive, world-class golf course to be built at Coul Links near Embo”. The vote, conducted by Civica Election Services, the UK’s leading provider of election services, is an unequivocal result in favour of our aim.

We sincerely thank everybody who voted in this ballot. The turnout of 44.4% was incredibly high for such a one-off event and is comparable to the turnout at local Council elections and about 10% higher than European Parliament elections.

C4C will take this result as our mandate to move ahead with a new planning application for an environmentally sensitive world class golf course at Coul Links to create employment and economic prosperity for East Sutherland.

North Highland Hospitality Charter created by C4C

C4C understand that it is all very well creating jobs, but the most important element is ensuring these are ‘good jobs’. We have therefore created the North Highlands Hospitality Charter, a document which aims to transform the reputation of the hospitality industry, creating a platform for renowned tourism jobs. The components of the charter include:

(1) hiring local talent,
(2) ensuring fair and decent pay, at living wage level or above, including the distribution of tips,
(3) training and development opportunities for all employees,
(4) guaranteeing inclusion and diversity for employees and
(5) creating secure and full-time jobs at every opportunity, rather than seasonal jobs.

C4C – who will own the planning permission for the Coul Links Golf Course and will retain custody of the land and a community stake in the business – will ensure that all businesses directly benefiting from the golf course, sign and adhere to the charter. We are pleased to announce that we have commitments to the charter so far from the Coul Links Golf Course developers, the Coul Links Hotel developer and Highland Coast Hotels (owners of the Royal Golf in Dornoch and the Royal Marine in Brora).”


Public Vote Announced

Communities for Coul (C4C) have announced that a public vote will take place between the 28th May and 11th June to ask the people of Brora, Dornoch, Embo and Golspie if they “support a community planning application for an environmentally sensitive, world class golf course to be built at Coul Links near Embo.”

The ballot is being run by Civica, the UK’s leading provider of ballot and election services, and all registered electors residing within the IV25, KW9 and KW10 postcodes will have the opportunity to vote. The outcome will provide the first ever definitive answer to the level of local support for the
creation of a world class golf course at Coul Links.

Gordon Sutherland, a Director of C4C commented:

“The first, business led application for a golf course at Coul Links was a rare opportunity for our beautiful but socio-economically challenged area. To now have on the table £50 million of private investment – almost 3 times the amount of public money earmarked for the Sutherland Spaceport – gives an unheard of second chance which we as a community must seize as we will never have another opportunity like this.

The economic benefits of creating Coul Links would ripple out to all the towns and villages of the Dornoch Firth and perhaps even beyond, giving opportunities to those that are able and willing to take them. As local people will be prioritised for the jobs that are created, this will give local youngsters more reasons to stay and raise families and help reverse the ongoing and serious depopulation of our area which, as things stand, is slowly but surely becoming a retirement home.

Dornoch is the most economically successful town in East Sutherland and this is predominately based on the desire of international golfers to play Royal Dornoch’s Championship course, one of the world’s greatest. Indeed, the fortunes of Dornoch have fluctuated as the popularity of its golf course have waxed, waned and waxed again over the years. As one of Dornoch’s more prominent business owners commented recently when discussing Dornoch’s relative prosperity: “… but it’s fragile – and not just because of Covid – its fragile, the fact we have a High Street and a vibrant community is fragile.”

Having a second golf course of a similar stature to Royal Dornoch would encourage more golfers to visit and more golfers to stay in East Sutherland, thereby helping grow the economies of Brora, Golspie, Embo and Tain and acting as an effective “insurance policy” for Dornoch’s economy. As Mike Keiser, the world renowned golf course designer who names Royal Dornoch as his inspiration, has said, “One course is a curiosity, two is a destination.”

If the outcome of the vote supports our belief that the quiet majority of East Sutherland residents are in favour of the golf course for both the environmental protection it would fund and the many sustainable jobs it would create, then we will consider that a mandate to proceed with preparing a full planning application.”

Andy Stewart, President of Brora Golf Club and a C4C Director added:

“A world class golf course at Coul Links would complement Royal Dornoch and, together with the excellent and historic golf courses at Golspie, Tain and my home course at Brora, has the potential to create a golfing destination of international renown that would attract high spending golf tourists to stay in our area, to the great benefit of our towns and villages.”