Overall, the number of unemployed in
Caithness and Sutherland fell from 894 last month to 817. The revised
unemployment rates in the Sutherland, Wick and Thurso 'Travel to Work
Areas' respectively are as follows (corresponding figures for last month
are shown in brackets): 5.6% (6.7%), 5.5% (5.6%) and 2.9% (3.1%).
426 young people are currently on
Skillseekers, 412 of whom are employed status trainees. Emma-Jane
Sutherland, Thurso, and Alistair Bremner, Wick, both achieved their Level
III vocational qualifications, in Engineering Maintenance and Carpentry &
365 Modern Apprentices are currently in
training, 99 of whom are over the age of 25.
TRAINING FOR WORK
There are currently 47 participants on
Training For Work. There were a total of 5 Positive Outcomes, with
participants going into employment following their time on the programme,
in addition to the achievement of 4 industry specific qualifications.
34 participants started on Gateway, while a
further 35 people went into a variety of employment and training options.
SKILLS DEVELOPMENT GRANTS
The 6 approvals included assistance of £750
for James Niven, Ardgay for a tower crane course, and £139.50 for Sheila
Sutherland, Brora, for a professional curtain making and soft furnishings
TRAINING OF TRAINERS
Don Sutherland, Haster, has had approval of
assistance which will enable him to become an Accredited Trainer in
A number of courses on rural skills,
including drystone dyking, forklift training, chainsaw use and
agricultural training were delivered via the Central Caithness Training
FINANCE FOR BUSINESS
City Centre Estates (Leisure) Ltd has been
awarded £64,900 to establish a high quality self-catering and leisure
facility at Latheronwheel. The development, which will have its own
swimming pool, will comprise three, four star, self-catering holiday
LUXURY TOURST ACCOMMODATION AT LATHERONWHEEL
Brand new luxury self-catering apartments with indoor leisure facilities
are to be built at Latheronwheel, Caithness. Caithness and Sutherland
Enterprise (CASE) has awarded City Centre Estates (Leisure) Ltd a funding
package to turn a group of derelict buildings in the village into three,
four-star standard holiday homes with swimming pool.
CASE has pledged financial support totalling £115,900, which includes
£51,000 from the European-funded HIE Standards programme. HIE Standards is
a Network-wide initiative designed to help accommodation providers invest
in the upgrade of their premises in a bid to attract and meet the needs of
today's discerning travellers.
City Centre Estates (Leisure) Ltd has ambitious plans for the properties.
Managing director, Avi Wejurka explained: "As a frequent visitor to the
far north I had noticed these lovely B and C Listed buildings at Craiglea
and thought it was a terrible shame that they were falling into a state of
disrepair. "Our business specialises in the conversion and upgrade
of old buildings and I have employed local architect Neil McDonald to help
me convert the properties into luxury self-catering accommodation.
"Each property will feature two or three bedrooms - with one of the
bedrooms being en-suite - fully fitted kitchens with all modern
conveniences and living rooms with beautiful views over the village and
the Caithness countryside. Of course, the best feature is the indoor
swimming pool with jacuzzi and sauna." Mr Werjuka added: "I am
very grateful to Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise for their support and
to Alan MacLeod of the AmcL Group for his assistance in raising the
The project, which is costing over £460,000, is set to create at least
four full-time equivalent jobs in Latheronwheel - a rural village with
limited employment opportunities.
A full-time facilities manager will be the first appointment made and part
of their job will be to organise a package of activities for visitors such
as sea angling, loch and river fishing and golf.
These special interest packages are set to be the highlight for guests
visiting the new development. Guests will be treated to a celebrity chef
if they choose to take part in culinary courses or if fishing is their
preferred activity, they will benefit from expert tuition from a top
Chief executive of CASE, Carroll Buxton said: "The creation of tourist
accommodation or the extension of existing visitor accommodation is not
something CASE normally supports. However, this project is providing a
unique form of accommodation which is not widely available within the
Highlands." "We also think this is a very worthwhile project because
it will bring these old buildings back into economic use, and improve the
general environment of Latheronwheel."
K P Technology Ltd, Wick, has been
awarded assistance of up to £20,000 to enable the development of this
business which manufactures Kelvin Probes, scientific measurement devices
used to investigate the properties of various materials.
More On Kelvin Probes
Wick-based diving company, Fathoms
Ltd, has been awarded assistance of £6,200 towards the purchase of
specialist monitoring equipment and the development of this for use under
water, while John G Mackay has been awarded £14,500 towards the purchase
of specialist forestry equipment. D Steven & Son, Scrabster, have also
been awarded £16,200 towards the purchase of specialist equipment.
The remaining approval was for the
Sinclair Bay Lobster Company Ltd, Keiss, which was awarded £6,000 towards
the cost of building a storage facility for live lobsters
Louise Sinclair, Keiss, has started trading
as the Sinclair Bay Lobster Company Ltd. The business will buy lobsters in
the summer months when prices are lowest and store them live until the
winter when a premium price can be sought for the product.
Shona Blance, Helmsdale, started
trading on the 1st June as S Blance Associates Ltd. Shona's new venture
will offer small to medium sized enterprises expert advice in employment
law, human resources management and Information Communications Technology
(ICT) solutions. Her ICT services are specifically being targeted at the
cultural heritage sector, especially those seeking the digitisation of
Victoria Denley-Spencer, Watten,
has started True Elegance, a nail beauty business, while Jacqueline James,
Bonar Bridge, will provide a range of complimentary therapy treatments.
Pure Innocence is the name of
Christine Cormack's crochet baby-wear business, which is based in Keiss.
HIE INNOVATION SUPPORT SCHEME
Jobs 4 All, Thurso are to receive
assistance with a technical consultancy, while Roxy's Sauces, Spinningdale
is to receive consultancy advice.
Businesses assisted with training costs
were: Filmbrook Ltd, Thurso, towards projectionist training; Bridgend
Building Supplies Ltd, for IT training; and, The Flower Patch, Wick, to
carry out floristry training.
In a joint project with RACE, we are
contributing £20,500 towards an event aimed at promoting the food and
drink of the area. Entitled 'Ainsley at Dunrobin', celebrity chef Ainsley
Harriot will do a cookery demonstration using local produce and, with the
assistance of local catering and hospitality students and Modern
Apprentices, prepare a gourmet dinner for 150 paying guests.
Assistance of £7.5k was also
awarded to the Highland Council, towards the cost of undertaking a
feasibility study for the Wick harbour breakwater.
City Centre Estates (Leisure) Ltd has also
been awarded HIE Standards assistance of £51,000 towards the cost of
establishing their high quality self-catering and leisure facility at
FEASABILITY & CONSULTANCY
Edward Mackay Ltd, Brora have received
approval of £1,425 towards the cost of a business planning consultancy.
Community ASSISTANCE Grants
Caithness Archaeology Trust, are to receive
up to £42,432 towards the cost of a 3-year appointment for the area's
first archaeology development officer.
Grey Coast Theatre have received
approval of £30,000 for an ambitious and innovative two-year arts
development project, while Forest Enterprise is to receive up to £3,500 to
assist with the cost of staging two outdoor drama events in forests at
Dornoch and Rumster.
Halkirk Highland Games Committee is
to be assisted with the attendance costs of a world-class pipe band and
purchase of new sports equipment to celebrate 100 years of the Halkirk
Games, while Sutherland Schools Sailing Club is to be assisted with the
purchase cost of a sailing dinghy accessible to disabled people.
Durness Development Group, are to
receive £5,605 to assist in an ambitious "inter-village marketing project"
as part of the wider Mackay Country project.
Other groups to receive assistance
included: Latheron, Lybster & Clyth Community Council, for purchase of
mobile IT equipment; Keiss Amenity Hall Committee, to help provide
professional plans for an upgrade of the Hall; and Altnaharra Fun Day
Committee, to assist with a summer activity programme.
COMMUNITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Durness Development Group, is to receive
£4,343 to assist with an innovative research and archiving project
entitled "Back to the Future", which is part of the wider Mackay Country
Also assisted were Dornoch Focus
Group, to assist with the purchase of market stalls for local community
events, and Loch Eriboll Pier Committee, to help with the costs of an
economic assessment for a proposed pier development.
The remaining approvals, for Tongue
Golf Club, to support the costs of an investigation of the economic impact
of a proposed community-run golf course, and North Highland Forest Trust,
to assist with staging a one-day training event for its Directors, also
received matched funding in the form of Community Assistance grants.
APPROVALS FOR JUNE 2003
The following are funds approved during the
month ending 30th June 2003. Please note that the sums relate to
approvals, not payments. While finance may be approved, for a business
investment for example, it does not guarantee that the developments will
go ahead. The approval simply shows that CASE funds have been made
available, but they will not be released until evidence is received that
the project or activity has gone ahead.
Vocational Qualifications achieved