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Caithness News Bulletins September 2005

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Pulteneytown Telford Street Development

Members of The Highland Council's Planning, Development, Europe and Tourism Committee this week (Wednesday, 28 September 2005) agreed to apply for funding which could, if secured, assist in the regeneration of Wick, Pulteneytown Conservation Area.

If successful, Historic Scotland Conservations Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) funding will help Highland Council to conserve the historic environment of Wick Pulteneytown Conservation Area and in part will directly contribute to the wider economic and social regeneration of the area.

Members heard that of Highland's 29 designated Conservation Areas (3 of which are in Caithness, Thurso, Wick Pulteneytown, and Lybster) that Wick's best meets Historic Scotland's criteria and should be in a strong position for CARS funding on a national level.

Councillor Graeme Smith, Chairman of Caithness Area's Planning, Development, Europe and Tourism Committee said: "The Pulteneytown Townscape Heritage Initiative has been an encouraging experience. I see Historic Scotland's Environment Regeneration Fund as a real way of rounding of what has been achieved with the Townscape Heritage Initiative. When I saw the funding criteria for Historic Scotland's Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme I realised that Pulteneytown clearly meets all the criteria and is an excellent choice as Highland's candidate."

Local Highland Councillor Katrina MacNab said: "Historic Scotland's Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme will allow us to maximise the regeneration of the area. Pulteneytown has a strong track record of community partnership and with extra funding we will be able to deliver a more vibrant and lively community, building on our local heritage."

Final figures have not been worked out yet but could amount to several hundred thousand pounds.  This would be available for property owners in the conservation area to apply for assistance for works that enhance the areas historic buildings.

An outline application will be prepared by The Highland Council and submitted to Historic Scotland by 31st October, 2005.

Meanwhile there is still a couple of months for businesses in Pulteneytown to take up the chance of funding for buildings that require work done.  The Townscape Heritage Initiative still has not spent its budget for this part of the funding but can only do so if local business apply for up to 50% of the costs of works to be done.  Work could be carried out next year.