ON March 15th 2013, a feasibility study was commissioned to consider the practicality of replacing the existing aging wooden and corrugated iron structure, lovingly known as the Cowshed, with a new spectator enclosure. Following detailed investigation, an initial design was conceived whereupon formal applications were lodged with statutory approvals, two separate tendering phases ensured during 2014, both of which proved too expensive for the club to embark upon.
In early 2015, Narden, the club's main sponsor at the time, using their property development expertise and at no expense to the club, sought a competitive design and build solution which culminated in the appointment of Lovie Construction Ltd. of Fraserburgh on May 5th 2015 as the main contractor.
Work began in June with the securing of our site boundary from within the adjoining Nairn Hospital grounds before commencing the demolition and site clearance of the old structure. July and August were taken up with site preparation works including a redesign of the foundations to take account of prevailing site conditions. On October 14th, the main contractor commenced the construction of the reinforced concrete foundations followed shortly by the steel erection and associated cladding work to secure the integrity of the new enclosure. The concrete stepped tiering for spectator viewing was subsequently poured, which allowed the electrical lighting works to be installed. Following the Christmas holidays and accompanying frosty weather, the main contractor completed the outstanding constructor works by the end of January 2016. Progress was then made in installing the new public footpath access way from the main stand to the new enclosure. The pathway, designed specifically to facilitate unimpeded access for disabled and family use, was completed by early February.
The end of contract site remedial works now proceeded apace which enabled the formal handover of the contract with the issue of the completion certificates on March 8th 2016. This allowed the new enclosure to be opened to the public on Saturday March 12th to welcome Turriff United to Station Park in the semi-final of the Highland League Morganti Cup, which, fittingly, Nairn County on comfortably 2-0.
The naming of the new enclosure was the next task to undertake and provoked some fierce debate. Nominations were opened and following a public meeting, were whittled down to a final six, which appeared on the ballot paper. The Legends Enclosure, The New Cowshed, The Innes MacDonald Enclosure, The 1975/76 Enclosure and The We Believe Enclosure were all ousted by the winning title, The Davy Johnston Enclosure.
Voting papers were available from the Westerlea Hotel, the British Legion, Uncle Bob's Bar, the Town Barbers, at home matches and online. Following a lengthy voting period, the winning name was announced at a Supporters Meeting at the British Legion in July.
The Consultants and Contractors retained were:-
- Project Management - Narden Services Ltd., Nairn.
- Consulting Engineers - A. F. Cruden & Associates, Inverness.
- Design & Build Main Contractor - Lovie Construction Ltd., Fraserburgh.
- Electrical Contractor - County Building Services, Nairn.
- Disabled Access Contractor - P. Moore, Nairn.
The Financial Contributors towards the final expenditure total of £144,972 are recorded in no particular order of priority:-
- The Supporters' Ground Improvements Fund in association with the Panelbeaters' Fund and individual contributions from the wider community - £55,636
- Two private benefactors - £15,638
- The Highland Council, Nairn Ward Discretionary Fund - £8000
- The Co-Operative Local Fund - £1500
- Nairn County 50/50 Club - £3000
- Nairn County Sportsman's Dinner - £6766
- Nairn County Football Club - £2628
- Narden - £31,944