Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Paying too much for broadband? Move to PlusNet broadband and save£££s. Free setup now available - terms apply. PlusNet broadband.  


New Council Offices For Wick

22nd January 2012

Photograph of New Council Offices For Wick

The centre of Wick will see regeneration come to life when work on the new council office begins later this year.

Most of the existing council offices at Market Square will be demolished to make way for a modern building whilst retaining Stafford Place - the curved building that is part of High Street.

The new offices herald not just a new building but a change to working practices that will bring more efficiency to the way officers work. Shared facilties will be the order of the day with many of the staff who are out and about sharing desks and logging into computers if they are working in the office.

Surveys of working practices highlighted the number of hours each week where desks were unused as staff were out working around the area. Savings in space within the building mean that lower energy and other costs will result in many changes able to be implemented with the new offices.

The existing offices have had serious structural defects identified many years ago but it was felt that finally the time had come to change in order that a more modern approach could lead to better and efficient provision of services.

Early discussions a couple of years ago led to the conclusion that in order to ensure that the town centre did not become a ghost town then offices should be retained in the traditional place. At the same time a rationalisation of council buildings was necessary to gain the efficiencies and savings by having all of the services under one roof.

The council staff in Market Square will move to the old social security offices after the summer for about two years whilst the demolition and construction work on the 8.5 million project is underway.

Historic Scotand has been consulted and is advising on the features of the Stafford Place to be retained. There were no objections to the planning application submitted by Highland Council.

Wick councillor Bill Fernie, said, "This is a very significant development for Wick and the east of Caithness. It will bring together the staff from three main offices in Market Square, Rhind House and social work near Camps and this will lead to many efficiencies whilst retaining up to 180 people in the centre of Wick. The investment will create a significant economic boost to the area at a time when contractors are under a lot of pressure and for two years the spend will boost many businesses in the area."

"This development combines economic regeneration with addressing efficiency and improving services to local people. It is one of a clutch of new buildings that will help to put a new impetus into Wick. When combined with a new Wick High school including swiimng pool, library and improved sports facilities and the two new primary schools we are planning to start the next few years are goint to see major transformation of the infrastructure of our town."

"It is good to see that finally after the last couple of years of discussion, meetings and hard work by many people that things are beginning to come together. I believe Wick has a very bright future and with substantial capital investments in excess of 65 million over the next few years and it will have a huge impact that will bring benefits for many years to come."

Work will go out to tender shortly with work expected to begin in October 2012.

More information can be found in the planning application passed in December 2011 at -

In addition to the new council offices councillors also hear recently that works would shortly begin to upgrade the town hall thatr had a range or problems including disabled access issues that had seriously prevented the building being used on numerous ocassions. The works expected to cost around 700,000 will include the installation of a lift for wheel chairs and work in the main meeting rooms and re- wiring along with changes to offices and making the building fit for purpose and adding to its usability. Whilst the works are seen as part of the changes to the way the council works in connection with the new council offices planning it was felt that the premises should be dealt with in order that they should not be left out of use as the new developments came along.

This work is expected to begin in the next few months.


Related Businesses


Related Articles

Council gets tough on unlicensed HMO
Last week, The Highland Council issued rent suspension orders (RSO) in relation to a number of properties being operated as unlicensed houses in multiple occupation (HMO).   The orders, which have been served on the owners and tenants, mean that the tenants are no longer under any obligation to pay rent to their landlord.  
Council Leader Welcomes Scottish Government's Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund
The Leader of The Highland Council Councillor Margaret Davidson welcomed the First Minister's announcement of a Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund to deliver much needed improvements to tourist infrastructure to support the rising numbers of visitors to the Highlands.   This comes the week after figures were published for August which showed Highland visitor attractions were performing 17% higher compared to August last year, a result that is backed by accounts from residents and businesses that the area has been hugely popular with visitors this season.  
Highland is ready for winter - are you?Thumbnail for article : Highland is ready for winter - are you?
The Highland Council is ready for winter and prepared to grit council roads as the council's winter maintenance programme starts on 14 October.   Trunk roads in Highland are the responsibility of Transport Scotland and their operators Bear Scotland.  
Trading Standards are looking for Test Purchasers
Trading Standards are looking for young people to take part in test purchasing exercises.  We want to find out which shops are breaking the law by selling age restricted products to young people under 18.  
Killimster Moss Road OpeningThumbnail for article : Killimster Moss Road Opening
Caithness Civic leader Cllr Willie Mackay (centre) cuts the tape at the opening of the newly refurbished half mile Killimster Moss stretch of the B876 Wick to Thurso road.   Looking on are some of the Highland council workers praised for the project which was done on time and within budget.  
Praise for B876 Killimster Moss road refurbishmentThumbnail for article : Praise for B876 Killimster Moss road refurbishment
Caithness Civic Leader Cllr Willie Mackay has welcomed the reopening of the B876 Killimster Moss Road.   A stretch of the Caithness Wick to Thurso road at Killimster Moss was refurbished over a four week programme of improvement and reopened on Friday 29 September.  
Consultation on review of Highland polling stations
A chance to have your say.   Voters are being invited to have their say on a review of polling places throughout the Highland Council area The Council has today (Monday 2 October 2017) launched a consultation over its review of election polling districts and polling places.  
£1 million for school libraries over 3 years
The Scottish Government is allocating £1 million to improve school libraries over the next three years.   Launched today by the Deputy First Minister, the School Library Improvement Fund will be open for education authorities to apply for funding on behalf of school libraries in their area.  
Highland Council responds to SPA decisions on the Inverness Police Control Room
The Scrutiny Lead for The Highland Council, Cllr Matthew Reiss responded to the decisions made today by the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) at their meeting in Inverness.   He said: "We are naturally deeply disappointed by the decisions today to close the Inverness Control Room and to spread the National Database Enquiry Unit between Inverness and Govan.  
Independent councillor returns in by-election - Tain and Easter Ross by-election resultsThumbnail for article : Independent councillor returns in by-election - Tain and Easter Ross by-election results
The by-election for a councillor to represent the Tain and Easter Ross Ward on The Highland Council has been won by Alasdair Rhind (Independent) who was one of six candidates who contested the vacancy.   The bi-election was brought about by the resignation of Jamie Stone following his success in the Westminster elections He joins Councillors Fiona Robertson (Independent) and Derek Louden (SNP) in representing Ward 7 on The Highland Council.  

[Printer Friendly Version]