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Latest News

29/3/2015
Mixed news for farm incomesThumbnail for article : Mixed news for farm incomes
The average incomes of Scottish farm businesses changed little between the 2012 and 2013 cropping years, with a fall of two per cent (£600) overall to an estimated £31,000.  However, changes have been more marked across farming sectors.  
29/3/2015
Beefing up the herd
A scheme to equip Scotland's farmers to improve the efficiency, sustainability and quality of their beef herds is to be introduced ahead of next year’s calving season.   It will include a national livestock database and support for farmers to identify the key actions they are going to take on-farm including measures to improve cow fertility, reduce disease, optimise nutrition through feed analysis, and maximise grass and soil management.  
29/3/2015
Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
Week Commencing 23rd March 2015.   Energy & Business Services It was good to meet up this week with directors of Abbey Group, whose company Abbey Ecosse has taken over ownership of the Forss Science and Technology Park.  
28/3/2015
Master and Owner fined £16,647.00 for breaching scallop legislation
Scottish scallop dredger the King Explorer convicted following guilty pleas.   On 20 March 2015 at North Shields Magistrates Court, the master and owner of a Scottish scallop dredger the King Explorer were each convicted following guilty pleas after being charged by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) with breaching scallop legislation.  
28/3/2015
Repayment of £2.6 billion historical debt to be completed by government
Some of the debt dates back as far as the 18th century.   The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced on Friday 27th March 2015 that the government will redeem the last four undated bonds in the government's portfolio, completing the repayment of £2.6 billion of historical debt.  
28/3/2015
HMRC scores hat-trick of avoidance wins
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has secured three tribunal wins against tax avoidance schemes, protecting over £260 million in tax.   All three rulings uphold earlier judgments in HMRC's favour at the First-Tier Tribunal.  
28/3/2015
UK announces health surcharge
Surcharge of £200 per year and £150 per year for students enables access to National Health Service in the same way as a permanent UK resident.   From 6 April, all nationals from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) coming to the UK for longer than six months will be required to pay a ‘health surcharge' as part of their visa application.  
28/3/2015
Slipper limpets not permitted to be used as bait or disposed at seaThumbnail for article : Slipper limpets not permitted to be used as bait or disposed at sea
Advice on the release of live or fresh slipper limpets (Crepidula fornicata) Slipper Limpet The MMO is advising all marine users that the release of live or fresh slipper limpets (Crepidula fornicata) into the wild is an offence.   The slipper limpet is a marine mollusc and is a non-native species in the UK.  
28/3/2015
Government sets out its ambition to bring World Expo to Britain in 2025
Move part of new Business Events Strategy for UK to increase share of global conference market placeholder The Government hopes to bring the World Expo show to Britain in 2025 as it looks to grab a bigger slice of the business tourism and events market, Culture Secretary Sajid Javid announced today.   Hosting business conferences and events is worth £39.1 billion to the UK economy but Britain is currently ranked fifth in the world league table for the number of events hosted.  
28/3/2015
Nick Gibb speech on government's maths reformsThumbnail for article : Nick Gibb speech on government's maths reforms
This item applies mainly to schools in England but may be of interest to anyone looking at how children in Scotland learn their tables etc.   School Reform Minister Nick Gibb speaks to the London Thames Maths Hub Primary Conference.  
28/3/2015
Funding for Orkney Surf ‘n' Turf
Local Energy Challenge Fund.   An innovative community renewables project in Orkney has received £1.35m from the Scottish Government's Local Energy Challenge Fund.  
27/3/2015
Police Scotland Highland and Islands Division launches Operation Monarda - tackling doorstep crime
Police Scotland Highland and Islands Division today renewed its commitment to eradicating the scourge of doorstep crime and bogus callers.   Operation Monarda drives home the message: "If In Doubt, Keep Them Out".  
27/3/2015
Wave energy developers' chance to find out more about £7m support fund
People involved in the development of wave energy technology in Scotland will be able to find out more about a £7million support fund in a special online webinar next Tuesday (31 March).   Wave Energy Scotland (WES), part of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), is funded by Scottish Government.  
27/3/2015
Highland Airports To Remain Open Despite Strike Threat
Industrial action by Prospect: statement by HIAL .  HIAL rejects unreasonable 30% pay claim.  
27/3/2015
LGBCS consults councils on ward boundaries
The Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland has begun its consultation with councils on proposed wards for each council area as part of the 5th Reviews of Electoral Arrangements.   Its proposals contain recommendations for councillor numbers in each of Scotland's 32 council areas and the number and boundaries of wards for the election of those councillors.  
26/3/2015
Start Up Business Loans With 6% Interest Backed By UK Government
Start Up Loans are available to businesses yet to launch or those that have been trading for up to 12 months, although in certain circumstances this may be extended to 24 months.  The scheme provides free business planning prior to taking any monies ensuring applicants are in the best possible position to receive funding.  
26/3/2015
First Minister launches HIE's three-year planThumbnail for article : First Minister launches HIE's three-year plan
Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP has launched a new three-year operating plan for Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).   The new plan is launched as HIE marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of its predecessor, the Highlands and Islands Development Board (HIDB), which began operating in November 1965.  
25/3/2015
Norscot Joinery Ltd snaps up national trophyThumbnail for article : Norscot Joinery Ltd snaps up national trophy
Six-times World Snooker Champion Steve Davis presents award.   Caithness and Inverness based window and door company Norscot Joinery has won a prestigious national award for customer satisfaction! Norscot's trophy comes from the respected trade organisation Network VEKA, which polled nearly 16,000 households over the year, before declaring Norscot the winner for Scotland.  
25/3/2015
Businesses Watch Out For Ringing The Changes Scam
Police issue warning and appeal for information following 'Ringing the Changes' scams across Inverness-shire and Ross-shire.   Police are appealing for information following a series of 'Ringing the Changes' scams which took place at four local Post Offices across Inverness-shire and Ross-shire on Tuesday 24th March 2015.  
25/3/2015
New old look for Dingwall business as piece of High Street history is restored Thumbnail for article : New old look for Dingwall business as piece of High Street history is restored
With assistance of a Grant from Historic Scotland, the Mackintosh Brothers have transformed their Dingwall newsagent's premises back to its former Victorian glory and the recent work is attracting very favourable comments from the local community.   No 4 High Street, Dingwall is one of a series of Victorian shop premises at the West end of the High Street.