The environmental improvement works to Helmsdale’s Bridgend Car Park are now complete and the site has been reopened to the public. These works have been funded through The Highland Council’s Planning and Development Service capital programme and are the second phase in a package of works aimed at providing quality public space and visitor reception facilities for Helmsdale.
Currently firms are contacting businesses asking for support for an educational programme on cyber bullying. The line is that councils have cut back on their funding and they can offer help to classes in your local school if you donate to the programme.
Local people are being invited along to an informal evening reception held by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) at The Bradbury Centre, Bonar Bridge, Sutherland, on Wednesday 4 December from 7-9 pm. SNH is the Scottish Government's advisor on the management, enjoyment, understanding and sustainable use of Scotland's nature and landscape.
This week is the European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) and this year The Highland Council’s Waste Aware Team are getting involved. Staff will be on hand at various Recycling Centres across the region, raising the profile of the furniture re-use skips at the sites, and encouraging householders to think before they throw away, and consider whether an item can be reused.
The Highland Council has re-launched its Deprived Area Fund to help create employment opportunities and tackle poverty, with £100,000 of funding is available for parts of Caithness over the next three years. The Deprived Area Fund has disbursed a total of £1.248m to deprived areas across the Highlands over the last 3 years.
At yesterday’s (Monday 18 November 2014) Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee, members heard about the work been done by the North Highland Initiative to develop tourism in the Area with Tom Campbell, Chief Executive outlining some of the exciting destination development projects planned over the next 12 months. The North Highland Initiative (NHI) was launched in August 2005 to promote and develop the economy and to support the rural communities of the North Highlands bringing together the farming community, local businesses and the tourism industry to try to address some of the challenges facing rural communities in the far north of Scotland by creating a powerful regional identity for the area through marketing.
“The North Highlands are ready for winter” was the message given at the Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee yesterday (18 November 2014) with staff, vehicles and a plentiful supply of salt in place to treat roads and footpaths over the coming winter months. The Highland Council has increased its winter maintenance budget to £5.6 million this year and has introducing an improved service with 45,500 tonnes of salt in storage in readiness for winter.
Highlands and Islands (Scottish Labour) MSP Rhoda Grant, has been leading the fight against pay day lenders across the region was “Shocked” to learn that the Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, Scottish Parliamentary area has the second highest level of Payday Loan debt in Scotland averaging at around £2418.50, whilst the Scotland wide average is £1398.07. Rhoda Grant MSP last month launched her anti pay day loan campaign “Debtbusters” at the Citizens Advice Bureau in Wick.
For the first time since its inception, the Gaelic Business of the Year Award has been jointly won, by two companies. The successful companies are Facal, a specialist transcription and translation service company based in Sutherland and Comunn Eachdraidh Nis, a historical society based in Ness, Lewis.
A ceremony was held today (Monday) to mark completion of the 1km section of the A838 Lairg to Tongue road, north of Laxford Bridge. The £850k scheme realigned and widened the existing single track road to a modern two-lane standard.
The Highland Council is to host a major conference early next month to launch its Carbon Clever Highlands initiative which aims to achieve a carbon neutral Inverness in a low carbon Highlands by 2025. Keynote speakers at the event on Friday 8 November at Council HQ, Inverness, are Connie Hedegaard, the European Commissioner for Climate Action, Scottish Government Minister, Fergus Ewing MSP, and Willie Printie, of LifeScan Scotland.
On Wednesday 13th November, Women[AT]Work will be running a conference on women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at the Pulteney Centre in Wick. The conference will focus on opportunities for women in further education in STEM subjects and employment opportunities utilising these qualifications.
A North social enterprise is celebrating after securing ownership of a local building which is at the heart the community. North Coast Connection, based in Tongue, Sutherland, has taken ownership of the Kyle Centre and a small parcel of land next to the building from Highland Council.
Rock stability works at Smoo Cave near Durness in Sutherland have been completed and the site is now open again for public access. The work, undertaken by Rope Access Scotland Ltd and overseen by geotechnical experts from consultants URS Infrastructure & Environment UK Limited, included light rock scaling, netting and bolting and was essential for maintenance of the site in a condition suitable for on-going public access.
Highland Councillors will be asked next week to amend the Council’s Service structure to align teams into five Services rather than the current seven, delivering year-on-year savings of £350,000 from 2014/15. New Chief Executive Steve Barron has prepared a report for consideration by the Council at its meeting on Thursday 24 October, which recommends changes - to be introduced in two phases - to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and performance of the Council’s services.
A call for people’s early suggestions of sites and ideas for the new Caithness and Sutherland Local Development Plan – CaSPlan – is in to its last fortnight. It is therefore important that people take up The Highland Council’s invitation to submit suggestions for inclusion in the new plan for the future of Caithness and Sutherland, before the deadline on 17 October 2013.
The Highland Council has appointed Rope Access Scotland Ltd to undertake rock stability works in the vicinity of Smoo Cave near Durness in Sutherland. The work, which commences on Monday September 30th and is expected to take two weeks to complete, includes light rock scaling, netting and bolting and will be overseen by geotechnical experts from consultants URS Infrastructure & Environment UK Limited.
Brora Service Point will move to Brora Library on Friday 20 September 2013. To accommodate the flit, the Service Point will close on Thursday 19 September at 4pm and reopen in Brora Library on Monday 23 September at 1:30pm.
Leader of The Highland Council Drew Hendry has spoken of the “staggering potential” of the largest tidal energy project in Europe which is planned off the shores of Caithness. In welcoming guests at the Scottish Renewables Marine Conference at Eden Court, Inverness, on Monday evening, he focused on an announcement made earlier in the day by Scottish Government Energy Minister Fergus Ewing granting consent to MeyGen Ltd to “develop the largest tidal turbine array in Europe and the first commercial project off these shores”.
Shellfish and Langoustine supplier, Magnus Houston, was named Highland’s top young entrepreneur at the regional finals of the 2013 Prince’s Trust Youth Business Scotland Young Entrepreneur Awards today (10 September 2013). The 32 year old founder of Coast & Glen Ltd in Inverness was announced as the regional winner at a ceremony at the Town House in Inverness.
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