Sale unlocks the next chapter for Harbour Quay, Wick
13th February 2017
The long-term future of a section of Harbour Quay in Wick was secured last week when The Highland Council sold the historic buildings to Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Limited (BOWL), ahead of plans to develop the disused buildings as part of the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Base for the Beatrice offshore windfarm development.
This landmark transaction welcomes significant investment and job creation within the Conservation Area of Lower Pulteneytown.
Harbour Quay was one of the priority projects within the Wick Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) with The Highland Council purchasing part of the site in 2002.
Over the next decade The Highland Council secured investment through the Scottish Government Vacant and Derelict Land Fund and worked in partnership with Highland Housing Alliance to investigate all possible uses for the site.
In 2012 grants from Historic Environment Scotland through the Wick CARS (Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme) allowed the stabilisation of both buildings and the preparation of a development brief, so the site could be actively marketed as a development opportunity.
Caithness Councillors warmly welcomed the landmark development and speaking on their behalf, Chair of the Caithness Committee, Councillor Roger Saxon said: "I am delighted that a section of the Harbour Quay is to be developed as an integral part of the Beatrice offshore windfarm development. These buildings once played a vital role in the industrial heritage of Wick Harbour, it is great news they can be redeveloped to service the modern industry of renewable energy in the North of Scotland.
"This site is an excellent example of why a strategic long term approach needs to be adopted when dealing with historically important buildings particularly within a conservation area. It has taken many years to get to this stage but this sale secures these buildings for the next 25 years and beyond."
Wick Councillor Bill Fernie added, "We have been trying over the past few years to move the infrastructure of Wick forward to enable economic development and I am very pleased that our investment in schools, council offices and now the improvements we made to buildings at Telford Street along with making land available for the Archive project at the airport are al beginning to show their worth. The sale of council owned property has helped make it possible for this huge project to come to Wick and help with redevelopment of the harbour area."
Peter Campbell, SSE's Project Manager, said: "The buildings that BOWL plan to renovate are part of the original harbour area planned by Thomas Telford and are a symbol of Wick's industrial and maritime past. We are really pleased that we are able to utilise them and help continue that legacy through our £10m investment in the area.
"Work on the O&M Base is set to begin this month and be completed in 2018. In the mean time we will be advertising jobs to help keep Beatrice running, with up to 90 long term jobs ranging from Offshore Technicians to Office Administrators available at the base."
Members of the Communities and Partnership Committee have approved a new Polling Scheme to come into effect for the Election to Highland Council on the 4 May 2017. The decision comes after a review of Polling Places during which the public, politicians, community groups and those with expertise in access to premises for disabled people were invited to comment on the existing and proposed changes arrangements for Polling Districts and Polling Places.
The pilot Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan is nominated for prestigious planning industry award. The Plan was developed by a working group consisting of Marine Scotland, Highland Council and Orkney Islands Council who are a finalist in the category for Excellence in Plan Making Practice at the Royal Town Planning Institute's (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence (external link) 2017.
The Highland Council has agreed a budget for 2017-18, which includes a council tax increase of 3%. A package of £10.689m savings were agreed for 2017-18, on top of £5.824m savings agreed in previous budgets.
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.
New cutting-edge careers spaces aimed at inspiring youngsters have opened in Inverness. Skills Development Scotland (SDS) Chair John F.
The Leader of The Highland Council, Margaret Davidson (Independent), has welcomed KLM's announcement today of a second daily service from Inverness to Amsterdam starting from 15 May 2017 to complement the existing service. Cllr Davidson said: "This news of a second daily flight between Inverness and Amsterdam is splendid news! This expanded service means we are better able to make the most of global connections between Schiphol and key markets throughout the world.
In another challenging financial year, the Highland Council Administration has pledged to protect education services in the 2017/18 budget. The Highland Council will consider next year's budget at its meeting on Thursday 16 February.
Member of the Caithness Area Committee have given the go-ahead to a project to improve the safety of pupils walking and cycling to and from Miller Academy in Thurso. £20,000 will be spent creating a footpath and installing a barrier with linings on the ground to make the usage of the drop off area at the school safer for pupils.
Proposals going before The Highland Council on Thursday propose a reduction of £220,000 from a total budget of £3.029 million. Budget Leader, Cllr Bill Fernie said: "In our original proposals were looking at a cut of £660,000 from the street cleaning budget, so the cut we are now proposing is significantly less by two thirds.
Prospective candidates at the forthcoming Highland Council elections on 4 May 2017 and their agents are being invited to attend one of a series of six awareness briefing sessions being held by the Returning Officer, Steve Barron, Chief Executive of The Highland Council. The sessions will take place in Inverness, Fort William, Portree, Dingwall, Golspie and Wick.
[Printer Friendly Version]