New £48.5 million school campus for Wick
15th July 2014
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today broke the ground on the new £48.5 million Wick Community Campus.
The facility, which will replace Wick High School, Pulteneytown Academy Primary School, and South Primary School, is part of Scotland's Schools for the Future programme and will receive more than £17 million from the Scottish Government. The campus will also house a swimming pool and library.
The project will create up to 300 construction jobs with many opportunities for local employment. Eighty per cent of the build will be delivered by Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) with a value of £40 million.
The Scottish Government Cabinet visited Caithness and hosted a public Q&A in Wick ahead of the construction work starting.
The Deputy First Minister, who performed the sod cutting at the new site, said:"I’m delighted to be in Wick to mark this important milestone for this new school campus and I am confident it will be a fantastic addition to the local community when it is completed in the summer of 2016.
“The Scottish Government is committed to delivering good quality, well designed, sustainable schools through the Schools for the Future programme and we were pleased to award £17.2 million funding for the construction of this school.
“Having seen the plans for the new school, I am heartened to see that The Highland Council has worked in collaboration with Scottish Futures Trust to deliver a school that is innovative, value for money and will provide an excellent environment for pupils to learn in for many years to come.
“In addition to the educational benefits, this project will be a welcome boost to the local economy, creating apprenticeship opportunities for young people and construction jobs in Caithness."
Caithness Civic Leader and Vice Chair of The Highland Council’s Education, Children and Adult Services Committee, Councillor Gail Ross said:"Finally we are at the stage when work can begin on the new campus. This is a very exciting day for Wick and is the start of the much anticipated work that will provide Wick with an education service to be rightly proud of.
“The collaboration between The Highland Council, hub North Scotland Ltd and the Scottish Futures Trust has proved to be a success and we are very proud of everyone that has worked so hard to bring this to fruition.
“I'm delighted that the Deputy First Minister is here to cut the first turf. The Scottish Government has shown they are willing to invest in Caithness and we welcome her and other members of the cabinet to Wick."
Gemma Boggs, schools programme director at Scottish Futures Trust (SFT), explained:“I am delighted that the Wick Campus has reached such a significant milestone. Importantly, SFT's work across the Non-Profit Distributing (NPD) programme means that pupils, teachers and the community alike will reap the benefits of first-class education and community facilities sooner, as the NPD programme allows construction to start earlier rather than waiting for traditional capital funding to become available.
“Work starting on the campus will be welcome news to many local SMEs in the building industry. The project will provide a massive boost to the number of work-placements, apprenticeships and training opportunities that will be created through the delivery partner, hub North Scotland Ltd.”
A Corporate Parenting Board is to be established which will have a duty of care for currently around 500 ‘Looked After' children and young people in Highland. Members of the Highland Community Planning Partnership’s, Community Planning Board have this week (21 March 2018) agreed to establish a Corporate Parenting Board the purpose of which will be to: • promote the corporate parenting role of statutory agencies and awareness of the duties towards care experienced young people in Highland.
The Highland Child Protection Committee has launched a Toolkit to assist individuals, volunteers and community groups working with children and young people understand their roles and responsibilities in relation to child protection. Over 60 people providing activities for children, young people and families in a paid and voluntary capacity came along to the launch event in Inverness yesterday.
Bill Alexander, Director of Care and Learning, has announced his intention to retire from The Highland Council. Bill commenced with the Council in 2000, in a joint post with NHS Highland as Head of Children's Services.
Beware of calls from scammers pretending to be the Telephone Preference Service warns Highland Council Trading Standards. Highland Council Trading Standards wish to warn consumers not to fall for a new telephone call scam in which fraudsters pretend to be calling from the Telephone Preference Service (or TPS).
Recent outcomes of Redesign work were noted by Members at yesterday's Highland Council meeting. In the first year of the programme, 8 redesign projects were undertaken using a "Lean" approach and 36 staff have been trained as facilitators.
Motorists are being advised that The Highland Council is currently preparing to carry out resurfacing works at the following locations: • B862 Fort Augustus - Whitebridge - Torness - Dores – Inverness Road; specifically at Errogie Village (North Gateway), Errogie Village (South Gateway), and Compass Farm; and • B851 Errogie – Strathnairn – Daviot Bridge – Culloden Moor Road; specifically at Aberarder House. Advanced works notification signage will be provided at various locations from Thursday 15 March 2018.
The Highland Council has agreed a capital programme of £482m over the next 5 years. The Highland Council serves the largest geographical area in Scotland (over 30%) and has just under £2bn of assets on its balance sheet comprising, amongst other things, 203 operational schools, over 6,700km of roads and over 2,000 properties.
The Highland Council's Enforcement Officers have stepped up patrols in Caithness in a move to tackle the problem of littering, fly tipping and dog fouling. A number of fixed penalty notices have been issued recently including an £80 fine for dog fouling in the Stafford Lane and Back Bridge area of Wick, a £200 fine for fly-tipping on Ackergill Street and another £80 fine for dog fouling in Lybster.
Speaking ahead of today's Council meeting to agree the Council's Capital Programme for 2018/19 to 2022/23, Cllr Margaret Davidson, Leader of the Highland Council said:- "This programme delivers significant investment in a range of key projects across the Highlands. We are investing in schools, roads, bridges, harbours and flood prevention schemes that will benefit our communities.
Highland Council is to make a special case for extra capital investment in the road infrastructure after a winter period which has seen the Highlands battered by some 57 days of severe weather. Highland Council area is particularly subject to severe winter weather, which has a significant impact on the roads and other infrastructure.
[Printer Friendly Version]