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Caithness News Bulletins November 2004

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An award-winning community regeneration project in Wick is to benefit from a package of measures worth more than £50,000 in the same year that Dounreay celebrates its 50th birthday.

UKAEA is making available £50,000 through its partnership with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers to support local projects.  UKAEA will also provide a team of staff for a day to help carry out some of the work.

In addition, UKAEA has agreed to support a number of other initiatives being spearheaded by Pulteneytown Peoples Project. These include the donation of an outdoor storage facility, sports equipment for the local primary school and the services of a project manager to help bring plans for a skateboard park to fruition.

UKAEA Dounreay director Norman Harrison said the package reflected UKAEA’s commitment to the local community on the eve of the site’s 50th anniversary.

“The success of UKAEA and Dounreay in pioneering fast reactor technology over many years of operation and now in decommissioning is in no small part due to the support it has received from the community during the last five decades,” he said.

“The more that we seek to accelerate the clean-up of the site, the more important it becomes that we work even closer with the community to identify opportunities for growth that can sustain the area in the longer term. I am delighted, therefore, at such a historic time in the history of Dounreay, to be able to build on UKAEA’s long tradition of support for community involvement by announcing such a substantial package to help regenerate one of the needier areas in the community.”

Marc Murray, technical assistant to Norman Harrison, has been appointed to a community steering group.

David Dunnett, chair of PPP, said the residents’ committee agreed that the best way to maximise the potential of the funding was to split it between two projects and use it to generate match-funding.

He said: “Residents felt that the Rosebank playing fields, which has been used and enjoyed by generations of Wickers of all ages, was a facility that needed upgrading. Graham Nichols, Highland Council’s education, culture and sport manager locally, is assisting the group to help the project become a success. The other project currently being looked at is the proposed community centre.”

Katrina MacNab, economic regeneration manager of Pulteneytown’s People Project, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity. Private capital is an excellent resource to attract money from other funders and PPP is very grateful to Norman Harrison and UKAEA for proposing PPP to have this opportunity to celebrate their 50th anniversary.

“PPP and the steering group will be working hard to ensure that we make the most of this financial offer and we maximise the opportunities with a long-term gain for the people of Wick. Without this very generous donation from the UKAEA it would prove more difficult for us to look at a project like the Rosebank.”