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Caithness News Bulletins October 2004

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CD Factory At Wick Closes
The CD factory run by James Yorke Ltd has closed with the loss of seven jobs.  James Yorke Ltd took over the factory from Grampian Records that went into receivership with debts approaching 900,000. the company also employed 25 people at their factory in Cheltenham and they have also lost their jobs.  Grampian Records ceased operations in January 2003.

Recent closures of businesses in Wick include -
Alliance & Leicester  - as part of a national closure of smaller branches.
More Store - will close next week following the decision to close 70 shops as the company was in receivership.
Caithness Glass - recently closed with almost 50 jobs being lost.

On a wider front Caithness has seen the closure of Calder Quarry after Artesia Natural and Precious Ltd went into receivership last week .  Nine people lost their jobs at the quarry.
UKAEA announced they were cutting the length of time for the de-commissioning and that there would be up to 300 job losses over the next three years with more to come in the run down up to 2036.  The numbers of workers employed on sub -contracts is likely to begin to decrease but no figure of employees is available.  Many of the workers come from outwith the county staying in hotels and Bed and Breakfast during the week but there is bound to be a gradual knock on affect.

On the plus side the new Dental training unit will start to operate shortly at the Wick Business Park with 12 jobs expected.

But there is still a big question mark over the possible run down of the maternity unit at Caithness General Hospital in Wick.  The loss of consultants would it is believed lead to other jobs being affected and that spending power in Wick would be less.  A decision on the future of the unit is to be taken by NHS Highland at their meeting in December following the end of the public consultation on 9 November.

On a brighter note Wick will begin to see a huge investment by a new company likely to be called Caithness Heat and Power starting with the building in Wick of a new district heating system.  A 3.5 million funding package is currently being put together for the initial work which will involve new plant and machinery, laying of pipes under several streets.   Starting initially in the Pulteneytown area of Wick it is hoped the scheme will roll out to the whole town and eventually move out into Thurso, Halkirk and Lybster with new units.  in addition to reducing heating costs for users the new heating system will provide an outlet for waste timber from the forests in the west of Caithness and Sutherland.