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News Archive


21/3/2020
Covid-19: Support For Businesses
The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.   For many more links to information check https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses This includes a package of measures to support businesses including: a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme deferring VAT and Income Tax payments.  
21/3/2020
Pubs, Cafes And More Told To Close Immediately
The Scottish Government is telling businesses including cafes, pubs, and restaurants to close, along with nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, gyms and leisure centres.   The measures follow a meeting of the UK Government's COBR committee, attended by the First Minister, and will be implemented across the UK with immediate effect.  
21/3/2020
The Chancellor Rishi Sunak Provides An Updated Statement On Coronavirus
The Chancellor unveiled today (20 March) a further series of measures to support people, jobs and businesses.   Good afternoon.  
21/3/2020
Childcare Provision For Key Workers
Criteria provided to local authorities to determine local need.   Guidance on childcare provision for key workers has been published.  
21/3/2020
PM statement on coronavirus: 20 March 2020
Good afternoon and thank you for coming again.   Today I am joined by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Jennie Harries deputy chief medical officer.  
21/3/2020
Treasury Wage Support Welcome - Rethink Lay Offs
The Scottish Government has welcomed the significant steps by the UK Government to support workers through the economic crisis sparked by coronavirus and has urged further support for self-employed, unemployed and sick.   The Economy Secretary has also called on big businesses who have laid off staff because of the crisis to reconsider their decisions in light of the new wage support package.  
21/3/2020
First Minister address to the nation
"COVID-19 is the biggest challenge of our lifetimes." In recent days, we've been asked to make changes to our lives that would have been unimaginable a few weeks ago.   COVID-19 is the biggest challenge of our lifetimes.  
21/3/2020
Government Announces Further Measures On Social Distancing 
Entertainment and hospitality premises to close temporarily and people urged to only travel if absolutely essential.   Measures to close entertainment, hospitality and indoor leisure premises across the country to take place from the end of trading hours today (Friday 20 March) to limit spread of coronavirus .  
21/3/2020
Chancellor's huge package of support could cost several billion pounds per monthThumbnail for article : Chancellor's huge package of support could cost several billion pounds per month
From the Institute for Fiscal Studies.   A response to the Chancellor's new package of support.  
21/3/2020
Public Sector Finances: February 2020Thumbnail for article : Public Sector Finances: February 2020
From the Office for Budget Resposibility.   Government records a small deficit in February, but coronavirus will see borrowing rise dramatically.  
Co-op To Hire 5000 Out Of Work Hospitality StaffThumbnail for article : Co-op To Hire 5000 Out Of Work Hospitality Staff
Convenience retailer, the Co-op, has announced plans to create 5,000 store-based roles in a bid to provide temporary employment for hospitality workers who have lost their jobs and to increase support for local communities, amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.   Recruitment procedures have been simplified so that candidates can apply for positions by walking into their nearest Co-op with a view to starting work in a matter of days.  
North Highland College UHI - Corona Virus UpdateThumbnail for article : North Highland College UHI - Corona Virus Update
Updates for students, staff and visitors Update March 17: North Highland College UHI is to suspend the delivery of face to face teaching from close of business today, Tuesday 17 March at 5pm, moving to the delivery of teaching and learning online to help reduce the risk of spread of coronavirus within our communities.  Students local course leaders will be in touch to explain how this will affect students directly and to communicate how they plan to continue teaching and assessment arrangements.  
20/3/2020
Update On School Closures And Exams
Exams will not go ahead, teaching, learning and support can continue with local flexibility.   Deputy First Minister John Swinney has updated Parliament on the decision to close schools and confirmed that: the exam diet will not go ahead this year.  
20/3/2020
Wick High School Ready To Learn Digitally During Corona Virus EmergencyThumbnail for article : Wick High School Ready To Learn Digitally During Corona Virus Emergency
As the ongoing COVID-19 crisis unfolds, we will post information for parents and pupils here.  Please check daily for updates or subscribe to our website's news service by clicking on the ‘Follow Wick High School' option on the right of the school page.  
20/3/2020
Coronavirus Bill - Scottish Government Legislation will bolster COVID-19 response
New measures contained in the UK Coronavirus Bill will help enhance Scotland's response to COVID-19 and strengthen frontline services.   Constitution Secretary Michael Russell said the Bill, introduced into the UK Parliament today, followed close co-operation with the devolved administrations and was required because of "extraordinary public health and economic challenges posed by the pandemic".  
20/3/2020
Highland Schools will close at end of school day on Friday 20 MarchThumbnail for article : Highland Schools will close at end of school day on Friday 20 March
As communicated by the First Minister yesterday, we can confirm that all schools in The Highland Council region will close at the end of the school day on Friday 20th March.  Pupils should not return to school on Monday 23rd March.  
20/3/2020
£2.9 Billion Funding To Strengthen Care For The Vulnerable In England
The funding will help patients who no longer need urgent hospital treatment to return home, making at least 15,000 beds available during the coronavirus outbreak.   The funding comes from the £5 billion COVID-19 fund announced by the Chancellor in last week's budget.  
20/3/2020
Bank Of England Cuts Interest Rate To 0.1% - The Lowest Ever
The Monetary Policy Committee at a special meeting on 19 March 2020 voted to cut Bank rate to 0.1% and increase its holdings of UK government and corporate bonds by £200 billion.   The spread of Covid-19 and the measures being taken to contain the virus will result in an economic shock that could be sharp and large, but should be temporary.  
20/3/2020
How can High Street business adapt to these times?Thumbnail for article : How can High Street business adapt to these times?
Betting companies and retailers under threat.   But examples from other countries could offer hope Dr Gordon Fletcher, retail expert from the University of Salford Business School, comments as several big High Street names signal distress over coronavirus.  
20/3/2020
Chancellor Hosts Business Groups And The Unions RoundtableThumbnail for article : Chancellor Hosts Business Groups And The Unions Roundtable
Representatives of business groups and the unions attended a roundtable this afternoon hosted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak The Chancellor of the Exchequer this afternoon hosted a roundtable with representatives of business groups and the unions.  In attendance were: Frances O'Grady (TUC), Carolyn Fairbairn (CBI), Adam Marshall (BCC) and Mike Cherry (FSB).