Funding Releases Huge Boost For Marine Tourism
8th June 2010
The Highland Council has agreed funding of £100,000 over the next three years to complete a funding package which will expand the marine tourism industry between the west of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland. This will see new infrastructure and ancillary harbour services provided at Mallaig and Lochaline and project development work carried out for Kinlochleven, Inverie and the Small Isles.
The total project value, including marketing and infrastructure schemes in the three countries, is 7.4 million euros, attracting 6.2 million euros of grant funding from the EU Interreg IV funding scheme.
The Sail West project will create a marine leisure centre of excellence in the coastal zone and provide employment opportunities as well as rejuvenate coastal communities. The lead partner is Donegal County Council with 23 partners involved in the project including The Highland Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
Local Members for Wards 12 and 22 have confirmed that they will contribute approximately £30,000 over the next three years from their ward discretionary budgets and the Planning and Development Service will provide £30,000 over a two year period from its existing fisheries budget. The remaining £40,879 will come from the Council's Capital Discretionary Fund.
Highland Council Leader Michael Foxley welcomed the Resources Committee decision to provide the last brick in the wall funding. He said: "This funding will allow for a very important link to be made connecting the north west coast of Ireland and Northern Ireland to the west coast of Scotland. Successful joint marketing of these areas, including the whole west coast of Lochaber is a key element of the project. Given the decline of the fishing industry, it is essential that we diversify and enable our harbours to attract leisure boats. The marine leisure industry is a growing area of tourism and this is an exciting vision which will bring a swathe of benefits to fragile coastal communities and the entire west coast will become a magnet for the sailing fraternity."
Proposals for improvements to Mallaig Harbour include the creation of 25 pontoon berths, parking, winter boat storage, toilets and laundry facilities. A further 8 visitor moorings are planned for Lochaline with development work proposed for Kinlochleven Inverie and the Small Isles.
Alison Gainsford, head of business growth with HIE's Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross team, said: "Sail West is a fantastic initiative that will deliver improved facilities, boost visitor figures and raise the profile of a number of communities on the west coast of the Highlands and Islands. By working with partner organisations in Scotland, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, HIE has been able to support a bid for £6.2m of European money towards the £7.4m project through the Interreg funding scheme. We are delighted that Highland Councillors have approved this contribution. Their support is vital to delivering the significant benefits this scheme will deliver for the region's marine tourism industry."
The Highland Council is calling on the UK Government to help resolve the inequity of fuel poverty experienced in the Highlands of Scotland where people pay more for fuel and energy than other regions in the UK. Leader of The Highland Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson has written to the UK Government's Minister of State (Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth) The Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP calling on the government to replace the current electricity distribution system with one that replicates that of gas and telecoms and share the cost of energy distribution equally across the UK.
To mark Scotland's Climate Week for 2020, which runs from today until the 20th September, The Highland Council has organised a range of virtual events to share information and seek views from Highland residents and Council employees on climate related topics. Whilst the circumstances for Climate Week 2020 are very different to previous years, it still provides an important opportunity for organisations and communities to celebrate and showcase what they are doing to tackle climate change.
Highland residents are being warned that letters claiming they have won a share of ¬£425,000 in a ‚Äėpostcode lottery' is a scam. The letters appear to be targeting the Skye area but are likely to be sent to various addresses across the Highland area.
Fiona Malcolm, has been appointed by The Highland Council as Interim Executive Chief Officer with immediate effect for Health and Social Care, pending recruitment of the permanent ECO post which is currently taking place. A qualified solicitor, Fiona has worked within the legislative and policy frameworks in place for both children's care and adult social care since joining The Highland Council in 2001.
Communities in The Highland Council area are to benefit from Crown Estates funding to be disbursed by the local authority. Councillors have agreed a funding distribution model to enable the disbursement of over ¬£3million Crown Estates funds across the region.
Council today agreed an urgent motion by Cllrs Margaret Davidson, Andrew Jarvie, Alasdair Christie and Jimmy Gray with a call for more detailed local information sharing on Covid-19 for members in local government. The motion is as follows: "Throughout the pandemic we have received information on national and Highland wide numbers infected with Covid 19.
At the meeting on 9 September 2020 of the Council's Housing and Property Committee, Officers confirmed that house building targets will be met despite lockdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Chair of the committee, Cllr Ben Thompson, said: "I am delighted that we are able to continue to meet our targets for the Council house building programme.
Highland Council members will debate rejecting electoral arrangement proposals put forward by the Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland at a meeting of The Highland Council later this week. The Boundary Commission wrote to the Council's Chief Executive earlier this year with proposals for new electoral boundaries from 2022.
Highland Housing partners are asking their tenants to have their say on proposed changes to the mutual exchange policy. Mutual Exchanges help tenants to move by swapping their homes with other tenants.
COSLA has today (Monday 7th September 2020) launched a new Blueprint for Scottish Local Government. The Blueprint will allow Local Government to build around an ambitious vision for Scotland's future - one based on the empowerment of people and communities.