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Tough Decisions Required At Cairngorm MountainThumbnail for article : Tough Decisions Required At Cairngorm Mountain
The public body responsible for Cairngorm Mountain acted appropriately when selecting a private company to manage the resort, but tough decisions on its future are now required.   Cairngorm Mountain Limited (CML), which operated the mountain's winter sports and leisure activities, went into administration in 2018 following the closure of the funicular railway due to structural problems.  
Investment In Local Renewables And Low Carbon Heat
Additional funding of £5.5 million is being made available for renewables projects to contribute towards a green recovery following the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.   Communities will be able to bid for a share of £4.5 million through the Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES), which funds local renewable projects.  
Highland Pupils To Receive Free School Meals During Summer Holidays
Following the First Minister's announcement on Tuesday, 16 June 2020, eligible school pupils are to receive free school meals during the summer break to help tackle food poverty.   In Highland, P1-3 pupils entitled to school clothing grants and P4-S6 pupils who are eligible for free school meals have been receiving £15 per pupil, per week, which is paid fortnightly using a voucher system.  
Work On Highland Schools Projects To Resume
Highland Council is pleased to report that preparatory work to resume construction activity on three key school projects has commenced.  This is a significant step towards the completion of new buildings at Alness Academy and Merkinch Primary, and the refurbishment of Inverness High School.  
Employment, Unemployment And Inactivity For Young People (16 To 24 Years): Scotland
New statistics from the Annual Population Survey show that 309,000 young people aged 16 to 24 years were in employment in Scotland in April 2019 to March 2020.  The employment rate for young people was 54.8 per cent, lower than a year ago (58.3 per cent).  
Virtual Energy Assessments Launched To Help Scottish Businesses Save Cash
Businesses in the Highlands and Islands are being encouraged to bring their costs down with free, one to one, virtual support available from Zero Waste Scotland.   Through the recently launched Energy Efficiency Business Support Service, which is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Zero Waste Scotland is offering small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) energy assessments to identify where simple actions could result in significant financial savings.  
Firm Grip Kept On Scotland's Finances
New figures show that prudent budget management is enabling the Scottish Government to maximise its response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.   The 2019-20 Provisional Budget Outturn reveals a 0.7 per cent underspend on a total budget of £34.6 billion - down from 0.9 per cent the previous year - with all of the £258 million underspend carried forward and most having already been deployed.  
Economic Output Fell By 2.5% In 2020 Quarter 1
Scotland's GDP fell by 2.5% during the first quarter of 2020, according to statistics announced today by the Chief Statistician which cover the period from January to March.  Over the year, compared to the first quarter of 2019, the economy has contracted by 2.3%.  
Biotoxins affecting Bivalve Shellfish in Coastal Waters - Loch Eishort, Sleat, Isle of Skye
The Highland Council's Environmental Health Team has identified raised levels of naturally occurring bivalve shellfish biotoxins following routine monitoring at Loch Eishort, Sleat, Isle of Skye.   Eating bivalve shellfish such as mussels, cockles, oysters or razor fish from these areas may pose a health risk arising from the consumption of these biotoxins.  
A Clear Simple Message - Scottish Parliament's Covid-19 CommitteeThumbnail for article : A Clear Simple Message - Scottish Parliament's Covid-19 Committee
CHIEF Executive of The Highland Council, Donna Manson was invited to give evidence at the Scottish Parliament's COVID-19 Committee on Wednesday 17 June.   Mrs Manson's advice to the Committee was the importance of a clear and simple national message during the COVID-19 emergency.  
Highland Council sets out careful and gradual approach on school's return to Education and Learning
Today, The Highland Council's approach to a phased reopening of schools and Education Learning and Care (ELC) settings in the Highland region was discussed by Members at the Recovery Board.   Guided by the national framework, Highland Council will look at the local and individual circumstances of each of it's 203 school and ELC settings to provide the safest and most valuable learning experience possible to its 50,000 children and young people when term resumes in August.  
Important information for employersThumbnail for article : Important information for employers
The Employer Bulletin (June 2020, Issue 84) includes all of the latest Covid-19 updates to help you continue to meet your payroll obligations to HMRC and to claim any relevant grants and rebates during this challenging time.   We've included the latest update on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, along with updates on the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme and a reminder for reporting Expenses and Benefits for the tax year ending 5 April 2020.  
Deaths Involving Covid-19 Week 24 - 8th To 14th June
As at 14 June, 4,070 deaths have been registered in Scotland where the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was mentioned on the death certificate, according to statistics published by National Records of Scotland (NRS) today.   Between 8th and 14th June, 70 deaths relating to COVID-19 have been registered, a decrease of 19 from the previous week, 1st to 7th June.  
Bank Rate Maintained At 0.1% - June 2020
The Monetary Policy committee of the Bank of England voted unanimously to maintain Bank Rate at 0.1% and to continue with the existing programme of £200 billion of UK government bond and sterling non-financial investment-grade corporate bond purchases, financed by the issuance of central bank reserves.   The Committee voted by a majority of 8-1 to increase the target stock of purchased UK government bonds, financed by the issuance of central bank reserves, by an additional £100 billion, to take the total stock of asset purchases to £745 billion.  
Further Quantitative Easing By The Bank Of England - £100bn
On 17 June the MPC voted for the Bank of England to continue with the existing programme of £200bn of UK government bond and sterling non-financial investment-grade corporate bond purchases, and to increase the stock of purchases of UK government bonds, financed by central bank reserves, by an additional £100bn, to take the total stock of asset purchases to £745bn.   The Committee expected the new asset purchase programme to be completed, and the total stock of purchases to reach £745bn, around the turn of the year.  
Jobs Go As Travis Perkins In Thurso To CloseThumbnail for article : Jobs Go As Travis Perkins In Thurso To Close
Bad news for the north as Travis Perkins announced 165 branches to close throughout the UK.   The Thurso branch of the company will close with the loss of 5 jobs.  
Viking Approval Secures £580m Green Recovery InvestmentThumbnail for article : Viking Approval Secures £580m Green Recovery Investment
SSE Renewables has taken a final investment decision to proceed with the Viking Wind Farm in a step which will drive forward economic growth and a green economic recovery in Shetland.   The 103-turbine, 443MW wind farm will harness Shetland's excellent wind conditions to produce enough energy to power almost half a million homes.  
World First Coronavirus Treatment Approved For NHS Use By Government
The government has immediately authorised the NHS to use the world's first coronavirus treatment proven to reduce the risk of death.   Ground-breaking coronavirus treatment approved for use across the NHS from today Government-funded UK trial showed drug saved lives by significantly reducing risk of death in hospitalised patients who require oxygen Government ensures drug is available across all NHS healthcare settings and across the whole of the UK with immediate effect Thousands of lives will be saved in the UK with the government immediately authorising the NHS to use the world's first coronavirus treatment proven to reduce the risk of death.  
Reopening Childcare Safely
Guidance published for nurseries and other settings.   Nurseries and other early learning and childcare (ELC) providers have received new guidance to help them plan for reopening when it is safe to do so.  
Free School Meals Extended in Scotland
Additional £27.6 million to help feed pupils and other key groups.   Children eligible for free school meals will be among those who continue to be supported over the summer through a package of £27.6 million of additional funding from the Scottish Government.