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News

Yesterday
Make No Mistake Highland Council Are Going to Make Significant Cuts For Next Two Years At Least
Over £100m investment programme proposed as part of 3-year budget Highland council are about to use significant amounts of reserves to cover shortfalls in the budget for 24/25 and possibly 25/26.   Despite pushing out big figures it disguises the cuts about to fall on Highland services.  
Yesterday
No Redundancies In Highland Council's 24/25 Budget But Job Reductions Over 3 Years
Highland councillors will meet on 29th February 2024 to agree the proposals set out in the papers published today.   There has been a long period of public consultation on the proposals and although there are unpalatable suggestions they will balance the books.  
20/2/2024
Flights from Wick Airport - Uncertainty over future funding of Wick Aberdeen Service
The Highland Council is currently unable to confirm whether funding will be available to support the Wick-Aberdeen Public Service Obligation (PSO) after 31st March 2024.   The funding for the PSO is currently provided on the basis of £1.3m annually, with £1m committed by the Scottish Government and £0.3m committed by The Highland Council.  
20/2/2024
Primary Strategic Network in Education for Highland
A collaborative network of Head Teachers and Education Officers are working closely together with the goal of improving attainment and achievement in Highland primary schools.   Cllr John Finlayson, Education Chair said: "It is essential that we have strong, consultation and communication strategies in place and there is effective and ongoing collaboration between our schools and our central education service.  
Property Demand Study Launched By Highlands and Islands Enterprisie
As part of the study, businesses, community groups and social enterprises with future land or property plans are encouraged to complete a short survey by 22 March 2024.   Whether it's interest in land for sale or space to lease, HIE is keen to hear from organisations already based in the region as well as from those that are considering locating a business to the area.  
16/2/2024
Council Announces Thermal Pothole Repair Trial - Thurso One Of The Trial AreasThumbnail for article : Council Announces Thermal Pothole Repair Trial - Thurso One Of The Trial Areas
The Chair of The Highland Council's Economy and Infrastructure Committee has announced that a 3-week trial of a thermal process for pothole repairs will be taking place.   An external contractor, Thermal Road Repairs, has been appointed to undertake the trial before the end of the 2023/24 financial year.  
UHI Shortlisted For Two Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards 2024Thumbnail for article : UHI Shortlisted For Two Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards 2024
The University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) has been shortlisted in two categories at the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards 2024, celebrating the people and partnerships behind ground-breaking innovations.   The Flow Country Partnership , working with the Environmental Research Institute in Thurso, part of UHI North, West and Hebrides , nominated for the ‘Making an Environmental Difference' award.  
Shetland Engineering Firm Expands And Creates JobsThumbnail for article : Shetland Engineering Firm Expands And Creates Jobs
L&M Engineering has secured a grant of £58,914 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) for the development, which is set to boost business turnover by £1.2m and create two jobs over the next three years.   The company is diversifying its operations to cater for additional aquaculture markets.  
Region's Businesses Value Community Links
Most businesses in the Highlands and Islands consider their links with the local community as either equal to or more important than their profitable growth.   This is one of the key findings of the most recent rural business survey commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) in partnership with South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE).  
Support Programme Takes Young Entrepreneurs To The Next Level
Dynamic business support programme, IMPACT30, is aimed at nurturing and empowering the next generation of innovative leaders.   The fully funded programme is for people aged under 35 in a young enterprise and in a key decision-making role.  
30/1/2024
Roads In Caithness Will Get Worse Caithness Area Committee Admits As Funding Is Inadequate For 2024/25Thumbnail for article : Roads In Caithness Will Get Worse Caithness Area Committee Admits As Funding Is Inadequate For 2024/25
The Council at the Caithness Area Committee agree the roads budget for 2024/25 with exactly the same amount as for 2023/24.   Clearly with rapidly increasing costs this will come nowhere near to maintaining the roads to even the poor condition they are now in.  
30/1/2024
Community Regeneration Funding awarded to Caithness groups
Caithness Committee Members today (Monday 29 January 2024) considered and assessed applications submitted to the area's Community Regeneration Fund.   Community Regeneration Funding is an umbrella term for a number of funds that are available for communities/organisations to access in Highland.  
Caithness General Hospital Vacancy For General ManagerThumbnail for article : Caithness General Hospital Vacancy For General Manager
Following a detailed review of the role of the Rural General Hospital Manager at Caithness General Hospital (CGH), Wick, NHS Highland are pleased to advertise this exciting senior leadership role.  This is a key operational management and leadership role in the Acute Division within NHS Highland.  
Northlink Ferries disruption warning to customers Thumbnail for article : Northlink Ferries disruption warning to customers
Current forecasts indicate the possibility of disruption to our services from Saturday 27th January through to the evening of Monday 29th January.   Information will follow as forecasts update.  
25/1/2024
PPP Accounting Flexibility To Be Considered - Short Term Benefit But Long-Term Pain
A briefing has been provided to all members of the Council on an accounting flexibility introduced by Scottish Government and available to Councils to utilise in 2022/23 or 2023/24.   A number of reports to Council in recent months have covered this topic, and a number of other Councils have utilised the flexibility in 2022/23 or are considering doing so in 2023/24.  
Northlink Ferries Weather Disruption - Changes To Times And CancellationsThumbnail for article : Northlink Ferries Weather Disruption - Changes To Times And Cancellations
Early disruption warning to customers Current forecasts indicate the possibility of disruption to our services from the evening of Sunday 21st January through to the evening of Tuesday 23rd January.   More information will follow as forecasts update.  
Elvis Visit To Local Care Home Get On Their Blue Suede ShoesThumbnail for article : Elvis Visit To Local Care Home Get On Their Blue Suede Shoes
Pentland View care home in Thurso was transformed into Blue Hawaii to mark what would have been Elvis Presley's 89th birthday on 8 January.   It is estimated that Elvis has sold over one billion records worldwide so to honour the undisputed King of Rock & Roll, the staff and residents enjoyed a fantastic day of music, fun and dancing.  
Power Boost For Off-grid Island
A project to increase electricity supply and reduce emissions on a west coast island has been awarded more than £25,000 by HIE.   The HIE funding is being used to replace and upgrade high voltage transformers and other associated equipment to enable a major upgrade of the renewable energy supply on the Isle of Muck.  
19/1/2024
Thurso and Wick High Schools Closed on Friday 19th January
Weather is still hitting school transport services around the county.   Wick Unfortunately we have made the decision to close the school tomorrow, Friday 19th January, due to the ongoing snowfall and hazardous road conditions.  
Region's Young Workforce To Take Part In Pioneering Sustainability Skills ProgrammeThumbnail for article : Region's Young Workforce To Take Part In Pioneering Sustainability Skills Programme
Region's young workforce to take part in pioneering sustainability skills programme.   Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Zero Waste Scotland and business transformation enterprise Powering Futures have teamed up to provide the fully-funded places on the Highlands and Islands Powering Futures Challenge 2024.