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A multi-million redevelopment of Britains first formal industrial estate - at Lower Pulteneytown, Wick - is due to get under way later this year with the creation of 14 new houses and a family centre for the area.
The projects are among the first seven, which have been identified in the first phase of regeneration, which covers one-third of Lower Pulteneytown.

A total of 1.19 million has been attracted from the Heritage Lottery Fund and this sum has been matched by Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise, The Highland Council and Communities Scotland. A further investment of 750,000 is expected from the private sector.

  Priority is being given to the refurbishment and conversion of the former office of NOSWA (North of Scotland Water Authority) in Miller Street  into 14 affordable housing units. It is hoped that work can start in September. Also planned there is a new family centre, which will provide a wide range of child care and community facilities.

   Old NOSWA Building


The industrial estate was designed by Thomas Telford in 1810 to accommodate the herring fishing industry and it is hoped that it will be substantially renovated in time for the bi-centenary.

      Rear of Building

John Rennilson, The Highland Councils Director of Planning and Development, said the mix of proposed uses would generate new economic activity, additional visitors and create new employment opportunities.  He said: "Making this vision a reality will require a long-term commitment to the principles of economic regeneration through physical repair, conservation and adaptive re-use of Telfords buildings."

Funding, he said, would be targeted at seven priority projects that allowed for new private/affordable housing, together with craft/workshop/retail accommodation and the expansion of the local heritage centre. It was also vital that projects took full account of the areas conservation status and the
national importance of the historic built fabric.

The project will be managed by the Wick Project, a multi-agency partnership, which will approve grants, monitor progress, and ensure full community involvement.

Chairman Councillor Graeme Smith said: "The Wick Townscape Heritage will be a major boost to the economy of Wick. It will act as a catalyst for the regeneration of Telfords original vision and stimulate greater confidence, pride of place and a vision for the future."

Chairman of the Pulteneytown Family Centre Steering Group, Councillor Deirdre Steven, said the Family Centre is planned to be multi-functional, offering child care, child care training and confidential office accommodation for local agencies, such as Women's Aid and the Citizens Advice Bureau.  It would be flexibly designed to offer a meeting place for local people and local clubs.

Basically our ideal is to see it being used as a Community Centre in the broadest sense of the word.  It is a much needed resource for Lower Pulteneytown and will play its part in the regeneration of the area.

See Pulteneytown As At 2000