FIRST MINISTER'S MESSAGE FOR DOUNREAY STAFF Scotland's First Minister is urging Dounreay workers to secure their own future by demonstrating they are the best in the business at decommissioning. Writing exclusively in the latest edition of Dounreay News, Jack McConnell says a workforce that can decommission safely the fast reactor experiment is a workforce that will be in demand.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and the Scottish Executive today launched a consultation exercise in a bid to find out how the current regulations governing waste management could be improved. The Better Regulation of Waste initiative aims to determine if existing guidelines are effective and support Scotland's commitment to increase recycling rates and reduce the reliance on landfill.
A range of new services for people who have recently moved into the Highlands from other countries has won support from the European Social Fund (ESF). Highland Wellbeing Alliance, a partnership of public sector organisations in the area, has secured ESF funding worth £260,500 to back initiatives which will help the area's new residents with issues such as improving their English language skills, gaining employment and finding out how to access services and advice.
Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is calling on land managers throughout Scotland to ensure that they are not missing out on potential income opportunities from land designated as a nature conservation sites. Under SNH's Natural Care programme land managers can earn extra financial support by signing up to agreements to ensure these important sites will be maintained in the best condition possible.
The first wave energy device to generate electricity for the National Grid is back on site for a new test programme at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney. Developed by Edinburgh-based Ocean Power Delivery, Pelamis can meet the energy needs of more than 500 homes and is already feeding electricity into the grid once again.
Master Photographers Association Awards Local photographer John Baikie has added some more awards to his collection. On Sunday he attended the Master Photographers Association Scottish Annual Awards Night in Edinburgh for the first time.
The country's enterprise agencies are inviting anyone involved in the Scottish music community to submit ideas about how they think the new Scottish Music Futures Fund should be invested. Last month, the Scottish Executive allocated £500,000 to Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to set up a business development fund to help cultivate the music industry in Scotland - supporting the 'music stars of tomorrow'.
The second stage of consultation on the options for dealing with radioactive particles in the marine environment has come to a close. The consultation focussed on the relative importance of the criteria used to assess the 11 combined options identified by a scoring panel as most likely to succeed following the first round of consultation.
The process for the development of a new Highland Council office in Wick took a step further forward this week when members of the Council's Resources Committee agreed to ask four developers to submit outline solutions for the development to the Council. At the end of 2006 and early 2007 the Council advertised its requirements for a new office to provide accommodation for between 150 - 200 staff currently based in a number office buildings in Wick.
North Highland Products, owners of the expanding Mey Selections brand, have appointed the Royal Bank of Scotland as their commercial bankers. Calum Dickson, office manager at North Highland Products, explained, "We have moved our banking to the Royal Bank of Scotland because it gives Mey Selections a local presence and the national support at corporate level that we need.
North Highland Products Ltd - which produces Mey Selections branded products - has received funds from the London-based Carbon Trust to investigate how farmers in the North Highland can reduce their carbon emissions. John Strak, Managing Director of North Highland Products, commented, "SAOS, (The Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society), asked us to join its project with several other partners in a project being financed by The Carbon Trust.
Plans to invest almost £375 million over the next three years in economic and community development across the Highlands and Islands have just been published by the area's enterprise network. The latest operating plan from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) details the key strategic projects which the development agency will be backing between now and 2010, along with a set of eight 'primary measure' targets covering many smaller-scale initiatives.
DOUNREAY SETS NEW RECORD FOR SAFETY PERFORMANCE As of Friday March 16, Dounreay had gone a record 184 days without a lost-time accident. This is equivalent to 2.18 million man-hours of work.
The prestigious BBC Radio 4 Food Programme paid a visit recently to Caithness, resulting in a 30 minute broadcast last weekend (March11) applauding the success of the Mey Selections brand and its parent company, North Highland Products. Sheila Dillon, the presenter of the programme, spent some time in the area visiting, amongst others, Mey Selections beef and lamb producers.
The domestic road freight market remains buoyant so far this year after the busiest festive season since the Freight Transport Association's quarterly market trends survey began in 1996. All regions of the UK are seeing increased demand for freight services with most optimism reported in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Another ground-breaking device is leading the way with decommissioning Dounreay's Prototype Fast Reactor (PFR). The innovative purpose built device, nicknamed Cyclops, was designed in-house by UKAEA's specialist design team.
A free newspaper has hit the streets of Caithness. But the proprietors of the local John O'Groat Journal and Caithness Courier don't need to worry.
A BRAND new easy-to-access system for small and medium sized food manufacturers to introduce a food safety quality assurance scheme will be launched on Monday (March 19) at the International Food Exhibition in London. It has come about after four food-chain organisations recognised that although smaller food providers are being courted more and more by retailers and food service companies, their ability to meet the demands of a range of different buyers is often blighted by confusion over exactly what quality assurance level they are required to aspire to.
A & D Furnishers have moved from their former premises at Breadalbane in Wick. They are now located in the former Caithness Glass Factory next to the Tesco store on the edge of Wick.
Superstore rejected on Ness-side, Inverness Members of The Highland Council's City of Inverness Planning Applications Committee today (13 March) unanimously refused an application for a district shopping centre, including a Tesco superstore, unit shops, petrol filling station and sites for hotel and doctors~ surgery on land at Ness-side, Dores Road, Inverness. The application was for the development of a district centre comprising a 4,447sqm superstore, additional commercial units, land for hotel and medical centre, car parking and landscaping on land to the west of Dores Road at the western most end of the Inverness Trunk Road Link formerly known as the Inverness Southern Distributor Road.