Sale unlocks the next chapter for Harbour Quay, Wick
13th February 2017
The long-term future of a section of Harbour Quay in Wick was secured last week when The Highland Council sold the historic buildings to Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Limited (BOWL), ahead of plans to develop the disused buildings as part of the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Base for the Beatrice offshore windfarm development.
This landmark transaction welcomes significant investment and job creation within the Conservation Area of Lower Pulteneytown.
Harbour Quay was one of the priority projects within the Wick Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) with The Highland Council purchasing part of the site in 2002.
Over the next decade The Highland Council secured investment through the Scottish Government Vacant and Derelict Land Fund and worked in partnership with Highland Housing Alliance to investigate all possible uses for the site.
In 2012 grants from Historic Environment Scotland through the Wick CARS (Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme) allowed the stabilisation of both buildings and the preparation of a development brief, so the site could be actively marketed as a development opportunity.
Caithness Councillors warmly welcomed the landmark development and speaking on their behalf, Chair of the Caithness Committee, Councillor Roger Saxon said: "I am delighted that a section of the Harbour Quay is to be developed as an integral part of the Beatrice offshore windfarm development. These buildings once played a vital role in the industrial heritage of Wick Harbour, it is great news they can be redeveloped to service the modern industry of renewable energy in the North of Scotland.
"This site is an excellent example of why a strategic long term approach needs to be adopted when dealing with historically important buildings particularly within a conservation area. It has taken many years to get to this stage but this sale secures these buildings for the next 25 years and beyond."
Wick Councillor Bill Fernie added, "We have been trying over the past few years to move the infrastructure of Wick forward to enable economic development and I am very pleased that our investment in schools, council offices and now the improvements we made to buildings at Telford Street along with making land available for the Archive project at the airport are al beginning to show their worth. The sale of council owned property has helped make it possible for this huge project to come to Wick and help with redevelopment of the harbour area."
Peter Campbell, SSE's Project Manager, said: "The buildings that BOWL plan to renovate are part of the original harbour area planned by Thomas Telford and are a symbol of Wick's industrial and maritime past. We are really pleased that we are able to utilise them and help continue that legacy through our £10m investment in the area.
"Work on the O&M Base is set to begin this month and be completed in 2018. In the mean time we will be advertising jobs to help keep Beatrice running, with up to 90 long term jobs ranging from Offshore Technicians to Office Administrators available at the base."
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.
Maps of the Council's gritting routes by priority and policy are available online at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting. The information provided is a summary of reports from operational staff and is intended to give a general indication of typical conditions in each area at a point in time.
The £48.5m Wick Community Campus built by Morrison Construction has been announced as a finalist at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2018. The project is entered in the category for "Excellence in Planning for a Successful Economy" against eight other finalists from across the UK with the winner to be announced during a ceremony at Milton Court Concert Hall on 24 May 2018.
A Partnership for Procurement event was held in Inverness today (Thursday 6 March) to raise awareness and the capability of the third sector to successfully bid, supply and deliver services for the public sector. Partnership for Procurement (P4P) is a new initiative funded through the Scottish Government's 10 Year Social Enterprise Strategy; supporting social enterprises and third sector organisations to better access public contracts and build partnerships.
Across the Northern Alliance local authorities an exciting project has been rolled out to raise attainment in literacy, language and communication. The programme is being delivered in around 50% of primary schools across the Northern Alliance and is aimed at supporting practitioners to take a developmental approach to supporting early literacy development.
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