Town Centre Funding Of £265,290 For Caithness
16th May 2019
Members of The Highland Council's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee have welcomed new funding to stimulate economic investments in Highland town centres to help them diversify and flourish.
In partnership with COSLA The Scottish Government have provided £50m capital to set up the Town Centre Fund 2019-2020. Every local authority has received an allocation of the fund based on an equal weighting of the number of towns in a local authority (where a town is a locality with a population equal to or greater than 1,000 people) and the local authority population. The total allocation ring-fenced for Highland is £2,965,000 - the 5th highest allocation in Scotland.
Chair of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Allan Henderson said: "The Town Centre Fund will enable us to invest in local improvements and help town centres to become more diverse, successful and sustainable. This could include repurposing buildings and improving access and infrastructure. What we have is an opportunity to build on work already done to develop and implement town centre action plans that will increase footfall through local improvements and partnerships."
In line with the Council's commitment to localism and to bring decision-making closer to communities local Area Committees will take on the role of identifying and recommending which projects receive funding.
Based on funding distribution methodology used by The Scottish Government but amended to give each Area Committee a base allocation and to reflect the importance that Thurso and Wick make to the Caithness community, indicative area allocations have been identified as follows:
Badenoch and Strathspey Area Committee - £265,289
Caithness Committee - £265,290
City of Inverness Area Committee - £596,901
Isle of Skye and Rasaay Committee - £198,967
Lochaber Committee - £198,967
Nairnshire Committee - £198,967
Ross and Cromarty Committee - £928,513
Sutherland Committee - £198,967
Cllr Henderson added: "The money allocated to us has to be spent within the next 12 months. I would like to see this support for investing in our town centres continue. If it does we will be able to forward plan and look in detail at which projects can best re-purpose our town centres to help them become more diverse, successful and sustainable. "
Extra cash in the pockets of low income families Eligible parents of children aged four and five are being encouraged to apply for financial support worth £250. The one-off £250 payment is currently open to eligible families with a child who was born between 1 March 2015 and 29 February 2016 and who is old enough to start primary one this year.
Works on the Inverness West Link Stage 2 were suspended on the 24 March 2020 following COVID-19 guidance from the Scottish Government. The Highland Council has been in dialogue with Contractors RJ McLeod and has agreed that essential works are required to begin to address safety issues but primarily the works to be undertaken are to provide for physical distancing and encourage active travel, walking, wheeling and cycling as part of, and to augment the successful Spaces for People project.
The COVID-19 small business and self-catering grant schemes, set up to help companies stay in business during the coronavirus crisis, have now paid out £59,628,750 to over 5500 Highland businesses. The Council has now processed 99% of the applications received since the grant schemes opened.
Blueprint for safe return to classes. Detailed guidance on practical measures to allow schools to re-open on 11 August has been published.
The Highland Council is assessing the implications of the First Minister's announcements made on the 21st May about the first stage relaxation of lockdown, concerning teachers and other education staff returning to the workplace during June to prepare for the return to school and settings on 11th August. Highland Council's Education Committee Chair, Cllr John Finlayson said: "The return to workplace and Highland schools for our Education staff will have to be undertaken carefully and gradually.
The Highland Council's Environmental Health Team is advising consumers to use their water wisely and check their private water supply systems for any signs of water leaks or risks of contamination. A private water supply is a property that does not have a Scottish Water mains water connection.
The Highland Council can now confirm which of the Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC) across the region will re-open from Monday 1st June 2020. A phased approach to re-opening the sites will be adopted with strict controls in place to help manage social distancing and to ensure the anticipated high number of visitors and volume of waste can be handled safely and efficiently.
The Highland Council's Housing Service currently operates an annual garden aid scheme, cutting grass in approximately 1,300 council house gardens. The Garden Aid service is for older or disabled tenants who don't have anyone to help them cut their grass.
Following an ambitious bid by Highland Council supported by NHS Highland, to deliver rapid active travel interventions in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, The Highland Council has been awarded £752,954 from the Scottish Government's Spaces for People fund, which is administered by Sustrans. Over the coming weeks towns across Highland and the City of Inverness will see a roll-out of temporary walking, wheeling and cycling infrastructure along priority routes.
Public assurance is being provided by Highland Council that the organisation is fully transparent and accountable during the COVID-19 emergency response as it publishes decisions made by its group of senior officers - or Gold Group* - under emergency procedures. The list of decisions made since 19 March 2020 is on the Council's website at the following link and will continue to the added to and updated as further decisions are made using emergency procedures.
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