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News Archive

Coghill Bridge, Wick Costs RiseThumbnail for article : Coghill Bridge, Wick Costs Rise
Highland Council continues to work with consulting engineers, Aecom, to find an affordable solution for the refurbishment of the Coghill Footbridge, Wick.   New information on ground conditions, received in December 2016, has resulted in design changes and impacted significantly upon construction cost estimates, now in excess of the capital budget of £505,000 available to the project.  
Debt Solutions In Scotland Hold Steady
Scots accessing statutory debt solutions show little movement, according to Accountant in Bankruptcy figures Latest figures from Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB) show the number of people accessing Scottish statutory debt solutions has remained steady in the third quarter of 2016-17.   Figures for bankruptcies, protected trust deeds and debt payment programmes under the Scottish Government-backed Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) have stayed largely stable, showing a 1.9 per cent increase from the previous quarter to 3,145.  
The Future Of Energy In Scotland
Draft strategy outlines ambitious vision for a modern, low carbon Scotland.   A new target to deliver the equivalent of 50 per cent of the energy required for Scotland's heat, transport and electricity needs from renewable sources by 2030 was unveiled today, as part of a key consultation on Scotland’s first energy strategy.  
International Exports Rise By £1 Billion
Membership of new Trade Board confirmed.   Scotland's international exports rose from £27.7 billion in 2014 to £28.7 billion in 2015.  
New Car Tax Rates From 1st April - You can save by buying before thenThumbnail for article : New Car Tax Rates From 1st April - You can save by buying before then
How will the 2017 VED car tax changes affect you? From 1 April 2017, the UK's car tax system - also known as Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) - is due to change.  Will you end up paying more for your next car? So if you are thinking about a new car it might be cheaper for VED if you buy before 1st April this year.  
Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership Update
Week Commencing 16 January 2017.   Energy & business services: Following last week's very welcome news that Highland Council has approved the application to redevelop harbour-side buildings in Wick as an Operations & Maintenance base for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm (BOWL) project comes the first visualisation of what the restored buildings will look like - for picture see the BOWL Twitter feed at .  
Wick Campus Handed Over To Highland Council
Highland Council has updated Wick Campus stakeholders and confirmed that the Campus has now been handed over by Hub North Scotland to the Council.   The building is not as yet operational, and there are a number of outstanding works to be completed.  
Council Tax Changes In 2017/2018
From 1 April 2017 the Scottish Government is changing the basis on which properties are assessed for Council Tax and this will increase the charge for Council Tax properties that are banded E to H.  The Highland Council has no discretion in this matter and must apply these increases to the Council Tax charges from 1 April 2017.  
See The Challenges Of Balancing The Council Budget With The Budget Simulator
Highland Council is encouraging people across the region to have a go at balancing the Council's books - using a budget simulator.   The Council is seeking feedback from local people as it prepares for the reduction in funding it receives from the Scottish Government.  
Council Leader welcomes outcome of Parliament vote to retain HIE Board
Leader of The Highland Council, Margaret Davidson (Independent) has welcomed the outcome of the vote yesterday, 17th January 2017, in the Scottish Parliament, on the motion to reverse the decision to scrap the Board of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).   Cllr Davidson said: "This vote sends a strong message to the Scottish Government about their incessant centralising agenda and we would now urge Ministers to reconsider their entire approach.  
Clydesdale Bank Branch in Thurso To CloseThumbnail for article : Clydesdale Bank Branch in Thurso To Close
In September 2016 CYBG PLC, the parent company of Clydesdale Bank, announced that its branch network would be reducing as part of the Bank's strategy to create a truly integrated digital, mobile, telephone and branch service for its customers.   Following last year's announcement, Clydesdale Bank has today confirmed that it will close 40 branches in 2017.  
Dingwall & Highland Marts Ltd - Sale 17 January 2017
DINGWALL, Dingwall & Highland Marts Ltd., (January, 17th) sold 35 prime cattle.  Prime bullocks (11) averaged 208.8p (+2.6p) and sold to 216p per kg and £1,420.40 gross.  
Development Opportunity - Old Wick High School For SaleThumbnail for article : Development Opportunity  - Old Wick High School For Sale
The property is located in a pleasant residential area and is approximately a 5 minutes walk from Wick railway station and the Caithness General Hospital.   The facilities of Wick town centre and the expanding Wick Harbour are approximately a 10 minute walk.  
More time to comment on Landscape Appraisals to guide wind energy development
The deadline for commenting on The Highland Council's draft Landscape Appraisals to help in the consideration of future proposals for wind energy development is drawing near - but has been extended to 31 January 2017.   Two landscape sensitivity appraisals are currently being consulted on: one for the Caithness study area and another covering The Black Isle, surrounding hills and Moray Firth Coast.  
Leader raises concerns over handling of emergency calls in the Highlands
The Leader of The Highland Council, Margaret Davidson has written to the Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, Annabelle Ewing MSP, in relation to the recent press coverage on concerns raised about the handling of emergency calls in the Highlands and Islands.   Councillor Davidson said: "It does raise concerns over the Government's decision to close the Inverness Fire control room and transfer responsibility for handling emergency calls to Dundee.  
Dingwall & Highland Marts Ltd - Sale 10 January2017
DINGWALL, Dingwall & Highland Marts Ltd., (January, 10th) sold 39 prime cattle.  Prime bullocks (13) averaged 206.2p (+9.5p) and sold to 217p per kg and £1,407.00 gross.  
Dingwall & Highland Marts - Sale 11 January 2017
DINGWALL, Dingwall & Highland Marts, (January, 11th) sold 2,324 sheep of all classes.  Lambs (1220) sold to £70 gross for Cheviots from South Balkeith, Tain.  
£3m investment in wave energy projectsThumbnail for article : £3m investment in wave energy projects
Ten wave energy development projects have been awarded a total of £3 million by Wave Energy Scotland.   The projects, devised by individual companies and partnerships, will explore the potential of different materials and processes in the production of wave energy converters (WECs); devices that convert ocean waves into electricity.  
£6.5m agreed for Orkney research and innovation campus
Plans for a multi-million pound research and innovation campus in Stromness in Orkney are set to go ahead after the two organisations behind the venture agreed funding for the project.   The 3.75-acre campus will support the growth of existing research and innovation activity and the expansion of companies in Orkney's world-leading marine renewables, energy and low carbon sector.  
Work progressing well on new Muir of Ord bridge
Works are continuing on the construction of the new £3.3M railway crossing in Muir of Ord to replace the existing bridge carrying the A862 over the main Inverness to Dingwall rail line.   All 22 prefabricated concrete parapets have now been installed and recent surfacing works to the west of the new bridge has allowed traffic to be switched away from the existing road on to a newly laid temporary surface.