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Latest News

Recommendations for councillor numbers and wards submitted to Scottish Ministers
Recommendations include.- Highland council Reduced by 6 councillors including 2 in Caithness.  Caithness to go from 3 wards to 2 and from 10 councillors down to 8.  
Subsea 7, Seaway Heavy Lifting Land £896 million Offshore Wind ContractThumbnail for article : Subsea 7, Seaway Heavy Lifting Land £896 million Offshore Wind Contract
Subsea 7 has teamed up with Seaway Heavy Lifting on an engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contract for wind farm turbine foundations and array cables to be installed at the 558MW Beatrice offshore wind farm located in the Outer Moray Firth, Scotland.   The value of the contract is over £896 million, according to Seaway Heavy Lifting.  
Assembly of the new steel towers between Dounreay and Thurso SouthThumbnail for article : Assembly of the new steel towers between Dounreay and Thurso South
Work to reinforce the overhead power line that forms the spine of the existing electricity transmission network in Caithness passed the half way mark this month (May 2016), with progress continuing apace in the good weather.   The new 275 kilovolt line will link substations at Dounreay, Thurso and Spittal, where the underground and subsea cable to Moray is set to begin its 100 mile journey.  
Highlands of Scotland renews Fairtrade statusThumbnail for article : Highlands of Scotland renews Fairtrade status
The Highlands of Scotland has renewed its status as a Fairtrade Zone which was first achieved on 13 September 2012.   Highland Councillor Hamish Wood and Fairtrade champion said: "Highland has now renewed its Fairtrade status - a process which takes place every 2 years - which is very good for the region.  
Scottish Hydro Electric Transmissions £1 billion investment in the north of ScotlandThumbnail for article : Scottish Hydro Electric Transmissions £1 billion investment in the north of Scotland
In the last six years, Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission (SHE Transmission) has seen a £1 billion investment in the infrastructure across the north of Scotland.   The network itself is made up of more than 5,000km of high voltage overhead lines, underground and subsea cables and serves around 70% of the land mass of Scotland.  
Businesses invited to Doing Business in France event
Businesses in the Highlands and Islands new to exporting or looking to move into new markets are invited to a ‘Doing Business in France' event in Inverness next week.   Organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), the free information and advice event will be held at the Kingsmills Hotel from 9:30am to 1:30pm on Tuesday 7 June.  
90 Jobs For Wick in £2.5 Billion Beatrice Offshore Wind FarmThumbnail for article : 90 Jobs For Wick in £2.5 Billion Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm
* 84 turbines will provide 588MW of power once operational in 2019.   * New windfarm expects to provide an average annual gross employment i Scotland of over 890 jobs during construction and is one of Scotland's largest private infrastructure project.  
Foreign investment success welcomed
News that the Highlands and Islands helped make 2015 a record breaking year of inward investment in Scotland has been welcomed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).   The latest annual survey by EY shows a record level of foreign direct investment (FDI) projects won by Scotland; up by 51% and job creation up 52% in 2015.  
Development agencies welcome SSEs Beatrice offshore wind announcement
Confirmation that SSE is to go ahead with its investment in the Beatrice Offshore Wind project has been welcomed by both of Scotland's economic development agencies.   The project is expected to deliver billions of pounds of investment during construction, installation and longer-term operation and maintenance of the windfarm.  
External review team inspects maternity services
An external review team visited NHS Highland this week to examine paediatric and neonatal services at Caithness General Hospital in Wick and Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.   During the visit, the team met a wide range of clinicians and managers at both hospitals as well as staff from Scottish Ambulance Service.  
Highland Council representative appointed to NHS Highland board
Highland Council has appointed Councillor Jaci Douglas as the Council's representative to serve on the Board of NHS Highland.   Cllr Jaci Douglas currently chairs the area District Partnership for Badenoch and Strathspey and chairs the Highland Council's Working Group on Dementia.  
Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
Week Commencing 16th May 2016 Energy & Business Services: One of the main project focal points for partners over the past three years has been the potential to attract the operations and maintenance base for the Beatrice Offshore Wind development to Wick, and news this week that this moves ever closer with a piece in the RE News online feed regarding the Final Investment Decision for the project. Following this week's movement of large transformers from Scrabster harbour to the new Thurso South electricity sub-station, this coming weekend will see JGC Engineering moving three very large support modules to Scrabster Harbour.  
Farm funding applications
Deadline extended by one month.   The deadline for submitting Single Application Forms (SAF) for farm funding has been extended by one month to June 15, 2016.  
Preparing to Export
24 May 2016 to 25 May 2016 Where: Nairn Location of this event may be changed depending on registrations, to allow for a more central venue for all participants.   Highlands and Islands Enterprise, in partnership with Scottish Development International, is running a FREE two day workshop on how to successfully prepare your business to trade overseas.  
CalMac secures ferry contractThumbnail for article : CalMac secures ferry contract
CalMac Ferries Limited has been announced as the preferred tenderer for the next contract to operate the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services (CHFS) network by the First Minister.   CalMac's bid makes almost 350 commitments to improve the service, aiming to help drive economic growth, improve customer service and make sure the company delivers value for money.  
£4m investment in UHIs new school of health, social care and well-beingThumbnail for article : £4m investment in UHIs new school of health, social care and well-being
A £19m initiative by the University of the Highlands and Islands, to develop a school encompassing health, social care and wellbeing, has secured a £4 million investment from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).   The new school will enable the university to develop and align its curriculum and research at all levels to meet the needs of the health and social care sectors across the region, but also including areas of life science and health service management and administration.  
Referendum on the UKs membership of the European Union
Highland voters who wish to vote in the Referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union on Thursday 23 June 2016 are being alerted to the ‘Notice of Referendum' published on The Highland Council’s website at The question on the referendum ballot paper will be: 'Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?’ The choices on the ballot paper will be one of the following: • Remain a member of the European Union • Leave the European Union Voters will mark their choice using a cross (X).   Steve Barron, Chief Executive of The Highland Council will be the Counting Officer for the EU Referendum in Highland Council’s area.  
SRUC/Post Mortem facility to remain in Inverness
Highlands & Islands (Labour) MSP David Stewart has welcomed the announcement from the SAC Consulting, Edinburgh, that the delivery of Veterinary Disease Surveillance in Scotland will continue from an Inverness facility.   David Stewart said " I championed the cause for Scotland's Rural College ( SRUC) to keep the post-mortem facility in Inverness and working with concerned staff and the farming community we put up a very good case for the need for such a facility to be based here within the Highlands.  
First Minister completes ministerial team
The Scottish Government will put opportunity for all at the heart of its agenda as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon completed her ministerial team with key appointments in childcare, education and employment.   New ministers will take responsibility for delivering key priorities in the Scottish Government's programme.  
Dingwall and Highland Marts Ltd - Sale 17th May 2016
DINGWALL, Dingwall & Highland Marts Ltd., (May, 17th) sold 31 prime cattle.   Prime bullocks (9) averaged 198.7p (+9.7p) and sold to 215p per kg and £1,360.95 gross.