Latest News

SSEs Highland Sustainable Development Fund is now open and accepting Expressions of Interest
The Sustainable Development Fund was launched in 2013 to support community projects with the potential to make a significant and sustainable difference to people and communities. In this second round of funding 1m is available. Applications of over 10,000 will be accepted from non-profit making organisations, community groups and charities based within the Highland local authority boundary. Projects neighbouring SSEs renewable energy developments will be prioritised.
Fit's in 'e Groat

Caithness FM Toy Appeal 2015
Caithness FM Toy Appeal 2015
Caithness Fm has launched its annual toy appeal.

Rushdance Wow them at Aviemore
Rushdance at Aviemore November kids achieve back to back wins at two massive comps, Rush have just competed at MJN promotions Hip Hop festival in Aviemore. Once again the Rush kids have stepped up, delivered and came home with a 25 trophy haul, winning 14 Championship titles and (Tops Off Winners) the very best Hip Hop dancers of the day in Junior and Senior sections.

Magi Sinclair Exhibition at Northlands Glass, Lybster
Latheron based artist Magi Sinclair holds her first solo exhibition this week at North Lands Glass Gallery, Lybster, with a private viewing on Friday evening, November 20 between 6.00 and 8.00pm. The exhibition of over 20 pieces created over the last three years is entitled Norland and focuses on the Flow Country, Whaligoe and Caithness castles. Magis drawings of the beautiful yet dangerous Flow Country are a powerful evocation with its deep bogs rich in plant life. Working in carbon on paper, with incredible sensitivity to detail and sharp observation, she creates art which directly links to the environment and guides the viewer to appreciate this incredible landscape.

New closing date for local fund
The Tannach and District Community Fund is changing its deadlines in response to community feedback. The next deadline will be 31 December 2015 and then 30 June 2016. The new dates move the Tannach and District Community Fund deadlines to alternate with the E.ON Camster Community Fund and will give the community the option of applying to one of the Funds every 3 months rather than every six months as has previously been the case.

Winter Warmth - St Fergus Foyer Exhibition
Christmas Exhibition at St Fergus Gallery, Wick
St Fergus Gallery, Wick and High Life Highland would like to invite you to view the Winter Warmth art exhibition in the St Fergus Foyer Gallery from 21st November to 19th December 2015.   All artwork will be for sale if you are looking for a special Christmas present ....................

Christmas Trees and Santa At Dunnet Forest
Your Cash Your Caithness - chance to vote for local projects you would like to see receive funding

Local community group bid to save towns Christmas lights
A volunteer for Thurso Town Improvements Association is trying to gee up some Christmas community spirit in aid of Thursos Christmas lights. Marion OBrien is encouraging residents in Thurso from shops, offices, bars , cafes and schools to get involved with the fundraiser. To date, over 200 letters requesting support have been distributed by Marion and members of the Thurso Town Improvements Committee.

Community Warden Clinic

Several New Funding Opportunities Now In The Community Section
Calling local groups to check out the funding opportunities now listed in our community section.

Remembrance Parade Film From Wick 2015

Remembrance Parades 2015
Remembrance in Caithness 2015Remembrance Caithness 2015Remembrance Caithness 2015Remembrance Caithness 2015Remembrance Caithness 2015

Electric Car Charge Points - John O'Groats and Gills Added To The Photo Gallery
Electric Car Charging Point - John O'Groats, CaithnessElectric Car Charger At Gills, Caithness

Community Transport Grants applications invited
Applications are now being invited for community transport grants to be awarded by The Highland Council. The deadline for submitting an application is Friday 18 December 2015. Applications are being invited for projects which will help to provide flexible and practical community transport solutions in their communities. kids dance their way to more trophies
Rushdance winners at Motherwell November 2015 competitive team have just competed at MAD street dance championships in Motherwell.  The kids at Rushdance practice hard every week and over the past few years  achieved amazing results in many competitions.  Well done to all the competitors.

New sustainable seaweed company looks to make waves in Caithness
Peter Elbourne - New Wave foodsForeshore near Ham, Caithness
A new food company aims to make good use of a resource that Caithness has in abundance - seaweed. New Wave Foods has ambitions to become Scotland’s leading processor of edible seaweed. The start-up company has been granted a licence to sustainably harvest seaweed on the north and east coasts of Caithness. Peter Elbourne, research and development manager for New Wave Foods, says that the idea came about when exploring different options for using the wealth of seaweed on our shoreline - There are hundreds of ways to use seaweed, but we recognised the huge potential in using it as a healthy and versatile food ingredient.  
New Wave Foods Is looking For A Manager In Caithness
New Wave
Operations Manager Employer: New Wave Foods Location: Wick. Status: Full-time (40h per week)
Salary: 28,000 to 32,000 per annum (depending on experience)
Additional benefits: Pension contribution, performance-related bonus
Closing date: 13th November 2015.

Castletown Heritage Centre Events In November
Castletown Heritage CentreCastloetown Heritage Centre Castletown Heritager Centre
Latest Wick High School Progress Photos
Wick High School 5 November 2015

Pregnant women travel 100 miles to give birth after death of newborn
Five pregnant women have been forced to travel 100 miles to give birth following the “potentially avoidable” death of a newborn. The child, who has not been named, died in the maternity unit of Caithness General Hospital in September.
Academy make County's cup hopes disappear with some Halloween magic
Wick Academy 5 Nairn county 1 - 31st October 2015
Wick Academy 5 Nairn County 1
- Reporter Noel Donaldson
ACADEMY booked their place in the next round of the Scottish Cup with a superb performance at Harmsworth Park, yesterday. This was Academy at their best, with all the team regulars playing attacking football with commitment and a conviction that they were going to be the side going through. The Scorries gave the visitors a fright early on in the replay and it was only a clearance off the goal line, that prevented them from going ahead. Nairn were no slouches and made the home side work for everything, but couldn't build on a strike from dangerman Connor Genthins. A tight Academy defence can take a lot of credit from that.    Photo Gallery

Telling tales in an entertaining way
Eric Farquahr - telling stories in Wick
MOST of us enjoy a good story and here's an opportunity to hear a few of them. Caithness Heart Support Group's latest speaker is Eric Farquhar who will be delivering a selection of fascinating tales at the Norseman Hotel, Wick on Wednesday night - 4th November 2015.

Nomadic Boulders at John O'Groats
Nomadic Boulders launched at John O'GroatsCanisbay children at Nomadic BouldersNomadic BouldersNomadic BouldersNomadic Boulders

In atmospheric evening the new art work that looks set to become one of the most photographed items in Scotland was launched as the sun went down.  The sculpture representing waves and carrying specimen boulders millions of which have passed through the Pentland Firth for thousands of years was officially opened by Lord Lieutenant Anne Dunnet whose great granfather built the iconic hotel with the hexagonal part now restored by Natural Retreats.  The afternoon began with a talk by the sculptors describing the thoughts behind the waves and the construction of steel and brass with curves of three waves the tallest of reminding us of the ferocity of one of the world's fastest tidal races and the boulders which scour the sea bottom on their way to the North Sea.  Children from Canisbay primary school performed a new work by Local writer George Gunn and new music provided the background to the whole setting.  Young people surrounding the sculpture with torches took us to another age with the whole event benefitting from the amazing sunset of the evening.  The sculpture lends itself to being photographed and there are sure to be many visitor including groups, cyclists and local sending it out globally on Twitter and Facebook in coming years. Dundee-based artists Matthew Dalziel and Louise Scullion have worked oin many countries.  The music by Jim Sutherland played on the day can be heard HERE
Major artwork launched at John O'Groats
Nomadic Boulders at John O'Groats
A major public artwork inspired by the natural force of the tidal races in the Pentland Firth is being officially launched today (Saturday 31 October 2015). Lord Lieutenant of Caithness Miss Anne Dunnett will say a few words before Alex Kennedy, pupil at Canisbay Primary School, cuts the ribbon to reveal the five metre sculpture named Nomadic Boulders. The Nomadic Boulders and Swelkie are the latest in the series of temporary and permanent works by artists marking the transformation of John O'Groats, and supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). The launch is accompanied by a dramatic performance including a new piece of music for John O'Groats.

Book Sale at St John's Episcopal Church - NOT Today
The book sale was wrongly quoted in the Groat as being on today but the actual dates are Friday 6th and Saturday 7th November.
Facebook Chat Today About Council Tax With Leader Of Highland Council - Begins at 5.30pm
For the eighth successive year, the Council has frozen the Council Tax. Like other Local Authorities, The Highland Council is facing a forecast budget deficit over the next 3 years. Leader of the Council Margaret Davidson will be here live from 17:30 to 18:30 on Tuesday 27 October, to chat with you and hear your views on council tax.

See also Budget Blog by Chairman of Resources Committee Bill Fernie
Thurso Come Dancing Strike Silver!
Thurso Come Dancing gain awards
Thurso come Dancing members are going from strength to strength and doing well increasing their levels of dancing that have been recognised in the awards received at recent tests. 10 members travelled to Lossiemouth to be tested and one member was tested on a video.

If you would like to learn or improve check out the new class times from November

Electric Car Charge Points
Elecric Care charge Point, Victoria Place Car Park, Wick, Caithness
A new gallery to add photos of the growing number of electric car charge points.  We start with the recently installed one at the car park behind the council office in Wick.  Also one in Tain located at the Queen Street Car Park.  We will add photos of others and the surronding areas as we see them.  If anyone would like to send photos of these in then please email them to

Peter Cattrell, Landscapes from the Western Front  - St Fergus Gallery, Wick
To mark the Centenary of the First World War this exhibition of photographic work by Scottish photographer Peter Cattrell includes quiet, reflective landscapes from the Somme. Catrell's interest in the Somme was sparked upon the discovery of a photograph of his great uncle, William Wyatt Bagshawe, with three of his companions from the Sheffield 'Pals' Battalion. The four members of the Battalion had enlisted in response to Lord Kitcheners' calls for volunteers, and had died on the first onslaught on the Somme on 1 July 1916. Cattrell went to find Bagshawe's name on the war memorial at Thiepval, Belgium during a visit in 1989 and a selection of Cattrell's archive material on display.

New ECG Machine Presented By Caithness Heart Support Group
New ECG machine presented by Caithness Heart Support group
THE Town and County Hospital's Newton Wing, at Wick, now has an ECG facility which will enable patients to have their hearts checked on-the-spot, without having to visit the town's Caithness General Hospital. The hi-tech box was funded by Caithness Heart Support Group and handed over, recently. Accepting it from group secretary, Marge Donaldson, is the hospital's senior charge nurse, Iain McHardy.

Did You Know You Can Read Thousands of Papers and Magazines FREE
Many people in Highland are not aware they can read thousands of newspapers and magazines completely free. not the online edition but the full paper or magazine to turn all the pages see the articles, zoom in for better size text and see all the ads if you want.   - Just Use your Highland Library Card

Vets Advise Farmers to Investigate Ill-thrift in Ewes Now
Almost a quarter of ewes tested for Maedi Visna (MV) by SAC Consulting Veterinary Services are carrying the disease. This could mean that large numbers of livestock are at threat of ill-thrift, failing to grow at a healthy rate, this winter. The tests were carried out on flocks throughout England, although vets are warning that the disease is also present in Scotland and Wales.

Bond Charity Ball
A Bond themed charity ball taking place in Wick this November is set to raise hundred of pounds for local causes. The event at Mackays Hotel on 7th November has been arranged to mark the launch of the latest Bond movie 'Spectre' and will see all monies raised going to SiMBA (Simpson's Memory Box Appeal), Wick RNLI and Caithness and Sutherland Women's Aid. On the night, guests will be treated to a four course meal, live entertainment and of course a James Bond special 'shaken not stirred' Martini.

Calling Potential Arts Students In Caithness - Portfolio Programme Fully funded
Northlands Logo
With the support of the Highland Youth Arts Hub, North Lands Creative Glass are offering 10 young people the rare opportunity to attend 2 fully funded residential courses, on site in Lybster.

Northlands Creative Glass 2016 Skills Classes
Northlands Logo
North Lands Creative Glass in Lybster, Caithness, Scotland are delighted to announce the 2016 Skills Class Programme.

NorthLands Creative Glass Looking For Films to Celebrate 20th Anniversary
Northlands LogoIn 2016 North Lands Creative Glass celebrates 20 years of experimenting with glass and connecting with the world from a remote Scottish village. As part of our celebrations, we are looking for any film taken at any North Lands events over last 20 years to be sent to them.

A Snapshot of Bridge Street and High Street, Wick on Sunday Afternoon
Nickel and Dime, WickHustons for sale by auctionEye Candy, WickHigh Street, WickBridge Street, Wick

The changes of business can be seen and there is no hiding one or two buildings that badly need either demolished or serious upgrading by owners. New businesses that will open in October include Sams furniture moving into the old D R Simpsons shop. Eye Candy, jewellers opening new store to match their one in Thurso and Nickel and Dime who also have a store in Thurso along with many others in various towns. Still one or two empty shops and the end of Huston's chip shop and restaurant as sen by the auction sign above the door after it closed suddenly about a week ago. In this snapshot there is a photo of every building and shop. The new council offices open for business today so we should see a much busier town centre.

Damage - Old Free Church, Sinclair Terrace, Wick
Police in Wick are investigating damage at the former Free Church, Sinclair Terrace, Wick whereby persons have gained entry by forcing the front door open. It is believed this happened between Friday 9th October 2015 and Tuesday 13th October 2015.

Wick High School - Latest Progress Photos
Wick High School Progress - 18 October 2015Wick High School - 18 October 2015Wick High School - 18 October 2015Wick High School - 18 October 2015
The new Wick High school is taking shape and the playing fields looking to the present Pulteneytown Academy are already growing the grass for outdoor activities.

Pinocchio - Pantomime from Wick players
Pinocchio - Pantomime from Wick players -tickets go on sale
Tickets go on sale on Saturday 21st November at Wick Players club rooms, Moray Street, Wick from 2.00 - 4.00pm.

Highland Council Offices, Wick - Staff move In On Friday 16th October
The temporary council offices close at 11.00am on Friday 16th October and the new office will re-open at Caithness House, Market Square at 10.00am on Monday 19th October. The existing phone numbers remain except for Care and and Learning Children's Services which changes to 01349 886607 and Adult Service temporarily at 01955 606915.

Royal Regiment of Scotland parades - Wick on Friday 16th October
The Royal Regiment of Scotland will parade through Inverness today 15 October 3pm, and tomorrow 16 October at Wick 10:30am; Fort William 11:20am; and Dingwall at 3pm. The parade in Wick will commence at 10:30am starting at Dempster Street and ending at Sinclair Terrace.

Launch of a new public artwork at John O'Groats
Artwork launch at John O'GroatsPupils from a Caithness primary school teamed up with local creative people in preparation of the grand opening of a new sculpture at John O' Groats. The sculpture which was installed Wednesday 7 October is named Nomadic Boulders and will be officially opened on Saturday 31 October.

Schools Join for Thurso Beach Clean
Thurso Beach Clean by Two Thurso SchoolsMount Pleasant Primary School P5 class (+ Eco committee) joined Miller Academy Primary School P6 class to undertake a clean-up at Thurso Beach in Caithness on Tuesday 6 October. Mr Harper from Mount Pleasant and Mrs Phares from Miller Academy brought fifty eight children in total to join forces with Paul Castle and Sam Watson the Highland Council Countryside Rangers and other helpers including Mrs Urquhart, Mr Boyter and Mrs Morris. The joint beach clean was part of both school's studies in to the effects of litter on our seashore habitats and wildlife. The clean-up was officially registered with the Keep Scotland Beautiful 'Clean up Scotland' project.
Photo Gallery

Have your say on Highland Council transport services
The Highland Council is seeking public opinion on the future provision of school, public and dial-a-bus transport services across the region. A series of consultation meetings will be held across the Highlands to discuss with communities their required needs and views on future Council transport services. Information gathered by the Council will be used to ensure that transport services purchased can best meet local needs within the budget available. Everyone is welcome to attend the public consultation meetings, including individuals, representatives from community groups and Community Councils, public and community transport providers, and businesses.

Over two hundred people enjoy Wick Waves sea festival
Wick Waves Festival 2015Over two hundred people took part in the recent Wick Waves festival which was organised by The Highland Council's Countryside Rangers. This weeklong ‘sea' themed event took place around Wick Harbour with local clubs, charities and businesses putting on over 30 varied events, proving that ‘Wick Works Weel'.

Twenty-second year and still new things to discover and enjoy about highland past
Archaeology Festival Highland 2015The twenty-second Highland Archaeology Festival gets underway at the end of this week (Friday 2nd October) with another packed programme of events across the Highlands. The fortnight-long Festival, which is co-ordinated by The Highland Council's Development and Infrastructure Service in partnership with dozens of local event organiser across the Highland Council area and in Moray, runs from Friday 2nd October to Sunday 18th October. This year local people and visitors can choose from almost 70 walks, talks, exhibitions and special activities covering the whole spectrum of Highland archaeology from prehistoric burial cairns and roundhouses to WWII remains and Commando training stories.    Community Index

Deadline for Community Council nominations approaching
The deadline for submitting nominations to stand for Community Councils is next Tuesday, 6 October at 4pm. Anyone wishing to stand for a Community Council in Highland must have their completed nomination form to the appropriate Ward Manager by this date. Community Councils are voluntary organisations that express the views and concerns of local people within their area across a wide range of issues from new buildings and roads to local services and facilities. They also have statutory duties and in some areas receive Community Benefit money from windfarm projects which they can reinvest in the community.

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