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Caithness News Bulletins February 2007

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HIE Caithness And Sutherland    
5 February 07
Wick Gets 750,000 In Business Park Funding

Small businesses in the Highlands and Islands will be the main beneficiaries from a new 7.5 million funding investment announced today by the First Minister Jack McConnell.

Ten business parks from Dunoon to Wick will be able to expand and upgrade their facilities in order to support the crucial role that small businesses play in the Highland economy.

The First Minister, who visited the Highlands this weekend, also announced new funding for:

  • Unst Regeneration
  • Habost site

Mr McConnell said: "Small businesses play a crucial role in the economy of the Highlands and Islands. This new investment will provide better facilities throughout the whole region for new and growing businesses.

"The economy of the Highlands and Islands is growing but we need to encourage even more new and growing companies and secure the jobs of the future. This investment will help bring this about."

The projects to benefit from the funding are:

PROJECT 2007-08
000's
Sandbank Business Park 975
Golspie Business Park 490
Wick Business Park 750
Dingwall Business Park 900
Tain Business Park 700
Alness Business Park 1,200
Annat Point Business Park 50
Forres Enterprise park ? extension of roads and services 300
Forres Enterprise Park ? Advanced unit 410
Keith Business Park 700
Habost site servicing and advance workshop 460
Unst Regeneration 500
Broadford Business Park landscaping 50
TOTAL 7,485

This funding has been made available from extra central resources for 2007/08.

Two new business units were started in the past few weeks at the Wick Business Park and O'Briens construction are working flat out with Saturday and Sunday working over the past two weekends.

27 January 07
Wick Business Park Gets Two More New Buildings In Latest Expansion
Work is going on fast at the latest extensions to Wick Business Park.  With the recent uptake in the existing buildings Highlands and Islands Enterprise have decided to invest in a further two buildings taking the total on site to five.  The latest new units will have solar panels and two wind turbines on each building.  With this new capacity expected to be completed depending on weather by the end of June it is yet another boost for Wick. Wick is expanding out on this road with the new Tesco looking to have yet another new shopping complex next to it built by Scapa Properties as announced recently. With the latest two new units at the Business Park adding to the flow of work it seems that Wick's expansion is still rolling on.  The potential in the latest two units is for a further 80 jobs once suitable companies are found.

What Else Is happening In Wick? - Plenty and More Required After 20 years of decline
Dental Unit At Wick Business Park

New Tesco Store Near The Wick Business Park

The Other Side Of Wick
Final Store At Wick Retail Park

The new retail park at Wick now has Homebase, Pets At Home, Edinburgh Woolen Mill, New Look, Superdrug, Carpetright.

More - Just a taste of what is happening and this list is not exhaustive
Pontoons to go in Wick Harbour in May 2007 and a marina planned for 2008 by Wick Harbour Authority.
Telford Street Development Completed
Work on upgrading pavements and lighting in the lower Pulteneytown
Extension to the CCTV with an additional 8 cameras planned for 2007 to increase security and reduce vandalism.
New housing development at Old Wick (78 Private houses) by M M Miller ltd
New housing development - 28 homes by Pentland Housing at former Glass factory site at Harrow Hill - completed and tenants moving in now.
New Homes from Norscot along Thurso Road - all sold for asking prices.
More houses planned for site opposite Battery Road, Wick - mix of private and affordable homes.
Highland Council plans new office developments and redevelopment of town centre offices  - requests for "Expressions of Interest" from developers posted recently.
Another Shopping Development next to Tesco site announced by Scapa Properties Ltd to include four new units and a garden centre.
Former Fountain Forestry Offices  Telford Street and yard acquired by Tullochs for redevelopment
Property at the rear of D Stevens Yard Acquired by Tullochs.
New Houses to be built in a development in Williamson Street in former Robertsons of Tain building.
New all weather football pitch - 900,000 - opened at Wick High School
Improvements at Rosebank Park in partnership with Pulteneytown People's Project - Bowling Green upgrade, tennis courts resurfacing.  Creation of new Basketball area with strong chain link fencing.
Caithness Heat And Power new Wood Chip and Gasifier Home heating project now well advanced - plans for expansion and many homes already signed up for fixed price heating and hot water systems in their homes in the Pulteneytown area.  Caithness General Hospital keen to join the scheme to reduce hospital energy bills.  Plans to extend to schools and the swimming pool and other homes across Wick in coming years..
Social
Unemployment beginning to go down for first time in several years - still one of the highest in Highland
Maternity unit saved from down grading after two year campaign.
More facilities at Caithness General
Scanner proposal for Caithness General may happen in the near future as NHS Highland and North Highland Community Health Partnership putting plans together.
Pulteneytown People's Project planning new 2.5 million Community Centre for Pulteneytown. PPP is a growing organisation with Several projects and is located in former council houses in Murchison Street.  Pulteneytown and two other smaller areas of Wick appear in the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation.
Other Improvments
The rebuilding of the Blackstairs in 2004
was part of the upgrading of Lower Pulteneytown and the work continues win 2006 with upgrading of several streets with Caithness flagstone being laid to replace old tar, brick and other materials.
The Community Garden project at Bank Row at the foot of the Blackstairs continues although it has expanded to include buildings and walls in the vicinity which as slowed the original programme but will see a much greater area of improvements