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Caithness News Bulletins June 2006

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Lottery Funding For New Highland Archive Centre
The Highland Council has warmly welcomed the £4.3 million grant awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund towards the £10.2 million cost of a new Archive Centre which will house the archival heritage of the Highlands. A site has been chosen at the Bught, Inverness, adjacent to the all-weather pitch, and the Floral Hall.
Councillor Andy Anderson, Chairman of The Highland Council's Education Culture and Sport Committee, said: "This announcement is of major importance to the Highlands of Scotland. Our archives are of world significance and now we will be able to showcase them in one brand new state of the art building.
"The Archive Centre will be part of The Highland Council's celebration of Highland 2007, when Scotland will celebrate our culture. The intention is to start building during 2007, and to open in 2009, the Year of Highland Homecoming. The centre will form the "hub" in the Council's hub and spokes strategy for the provision of its Archive Service. Smaller area archive centres will be developed as spokes. One spoke is already established in Caithness, and another is currently being developed in Lochaber."

Company Wants Publics Views On Old Brewery Site At Manson's Lane, Thurso

As a follow on from the affordable housing project O'Brien Construction Ltd designed at Manson's Lane, they are hoping to develop the Old Brewery Building into a further six social housing units. The Old Brewery is a category B listed building, built around 1798 in traditional Caithness flagstone rubble, which has been derelict and disused for many years. Unfortunately the building's listed status may well render their proposed project unviable making it likely that the building will remain as it is for the foreseeable future. Current estimates indicate that to restore the existing building with an internal steel support frame would cost in the region of £1.2 million, whereas to demolish and sympathetically rebuild it, utilising the original character and appearance of the building would cost 50% less at £600K and could easily be accommodated within Scottish Executive funding benchmarks.

The staff of the Manpower site in Thurso were given the opportunity of a free Health & Fitness Check at their workplace over the past two weeks. A Health Mobile Unit was on site (courtesy of Healthy Highland Men) and manned by Jean Macleod, Development Worker, HHM & Margaret Bremner, Scotlandís Health at Work (SHAW) Adviser for Caithness & Sutherland.

Public invited to comment on Council Performance
The Highland Council is writing to 9,000 residents this week inviting them to have their say on Council services. Chosen randomly, the residents will receive a Performance Survey questionnaire asking their views on their contact with the Council and satisfaction with services and inviting their comments on how best the Council can serve their local communities. The survey is conducted every year and the information received is used to plan improvements to service delivery. Councillor David Alston, Chairman of the Council's Renewing Democracy and Community Planning Select Committee, said: "The views of residents are very important to us and we would urge those who receive the questionnaire to set aside some time to respond to the survey. "We are committed to delivering high quality services to the public and being accountable for our performance. One way that this is achieved is through the Public Performance Survey. The survey also enables the Council to consult communities about its performance. "An effective performance management system must include listening to and taking account of the views of interested parties, and using this feedback to improve performance."

Internationally Important Flow Country - Scotland's Latest National Nature Reserve
A large area of internationally important peatland in Caithness and Sutherland is set to become Scotland's latest National Nature Reserve. The main Board of Scottish Natural Heritage has agreed that land at Forsinard and Dorrerry, owned and managed for wildlife and people by RSPB, be declared as The Flows National Nature Reserve (NNR).

New Donkey At Latheronwheel Was Quite A Surprise
Meet Ivan, aged just 8 hours with mother Mavis enjoying the view from the Latheronwheel field of Heehaw Donkeys. Proud mum Mavis was one of 6 jenny donkeys recently bought and transported from the Russian Ukraine border, Little Ivan, all grey and fluffy stands at 30 inches.

1 June 06
Wick Players Open Night
Wick Players chairman Drew MacLeod welcomed everyone to the open evening to celebrate the move into the premises at Moray Street after many years of working with only a small storage space. the new place provides workshops, rehearsal space and wardrobe space small meeting rooms and lots of storage


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