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News Archive

Land Fund Committee Members Announced
Land Reform Minister Dr Aileen McLeod today announced the appointment of seven members to the new Scottish Land Fund (SLF) committee.   The committee will be chaired by John Watt and is made up of Calum Macleod, Lisa Tennant, David Green, Duncan MacPherson, Anne Lear and Janet Miles.  
Proposed closure of Achfary Primary School
The Highland Council is to seek the views of local communities on the future of Achfary Primary School which has been mothballed since the summer of 2012.   Members of the Council's Education, Children and Adult Services Committee have agreed to undertake a public consultation on a proposal to formally close the school.  
Where will the spirit take you?Thumbnail for article : Where will the spirit take you?
From Wigtown to Wick, Dundee to Dornoch, or Stranraer to Stornoway, visitors can now embark on a round-trip of Scotland with just one ticket.   The Spirit of Scotland Travelpass, launched by VisitScotland in partnership with ScotRail and CalMac will allow people to travel the length and breadth of the country by land, sea and track for one fixed price.  
Council Ranger warns - toads on the roads!Thumbnail for article : Council Ranger warns - toads on the roads!
Andy Summers, Highland Council Senior Countryside Ranger for Caithness and Sutherland installing migrating toad crossing ahead road sign.   Andy Summers, Highland Council Senior Countryside Ranger for Caithness and Sutherland has been helping the Assynt Field Club put out warning signs for motorists near Lochinver to take care that toads may be crossing the road.  
New Funding For Enterprising Communities
Funding for groups to build their own enterprises.   A charity that helps to develop and support entrepreneurs in some of Scotlands poorest communities will be expanded into four new local authority areas thanks to a £225,000 funding boost.  
Global giants help HIE open door to digital technology benefits in businessThumbnail for article : Global giants help HIE open door to digital technology benefits in business
Following the Discover Digital 2016 conference yesterday (17 March 206) which attracted over 200 delegates from business and communities, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) says it's ramping up support to help the region's organisations to innovate using digital.   Representatives from business, social enterprises, the healthcare sector, and charity groups attended the Discover Digital event at Eden Court Theatre, Inverness, and around 60 people tuned in from around the region for the live webcast.  
HIE announces digital support for tourism businesses
As part of Scottish Tourism Week, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is announcing a £310,000 investment to ensure the region's tourism businesses maximise the benefits from a new £1.2m Digital Tourism Scotland (DTS) programme.   HIE is commissioning local tourism groups across the region to carry out a business survey with tourism SMEs.  
40,000 to be hit by cuts to disability benefits
Around 40,000 disabled people in Scotland will be worse off if the UK Government press ahead with their changes to the Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil said today.   Mr Neil has written to the UK Government's Minister for Disabled People to voice his opposition to the cuts which will wipe £130 million a year from disability benefits in Scotland.  
Crofting Commission elections
Consultation on potential changes.   Crofters are being asked for their views about Crofting Commission elections, ahead of next year's vote.  
£1billion saving for small business
FM announces chair and remit for review of rates system.   Small businesses have saved £1 billion thanks to the Scottish Government's small business bonus scheme.  
Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
Week Commencing 14th March 2016.   Energy & Business Services Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL) held a pre-application consultation event in Wick this week in support of plans related to the onshore infrastructure at Wick Harbour for its proposed offshore windfarm development off the Caithness coast.  
Scottish Business Pledge
More than 56,000 workers now employed by Pledge companies.   The number of employees working at companies that have made the Scottish Business Pledge has broken through the 56,000 barrier.  
Funding to improve road safety for Dornoch pupils
Funding of £23,000 was approved at Sutherland County Committee to complete the works due to be undertaken at Evelix Road, Dornoch.   Councillors had previously approved £25,000 from the Cycling Walking and Safer Streets programme for this scheme which consists of a build out, gateway, lining and the creation of a new footpath leading from the town to both the primary and secondary school.  
Funding approved for Carbon CLEVER projects in Sutherland
Three Sutherland community groups have been awarded funding from the Council for projects which will reduce the carbon emissions, and tackle climate change in the region.   The Carbon CLEVER Community Grant Fund was been established to help Highland communities reduce their carbon emissions, take leadership on carbon reduction, engage with others, raise awareness of climate change issues and promote low carbon behaviour.  
New Sutherland County Committee met for the first time
The first meeting of the new Sutherland County Committee took place on Tuesday 9th February 2016 at Drummuie Council Offices in Golspie.   Committee members are Councillors George Farlow, Hugh Morrison, Linda Munro, Deirdre Mackay, Jim McGillivray and Graham Phillips.  
HIE study will examine possible space role for Sutherland
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has commissioned a study to determine whether an area of north Sutherland might in future make a suitable location to launch satellites into Earth orbit.   A feasibility study is under way to examine the pros and cons of establishing a vertical launch facility for commercial satellites at The Moine, part of the Melness Crofting Estate near Tongue.  
Timber from the Flow Country - rail conference delegates hear of ambitious plansThumbnail for article : Timber from the Flow Country - rail conference delegates hear of ambitious plans
Ambitious plans to transport timber from the Flow Country in remote North Sutherland to Inverness via rail instead of road could pave the way for other projects in rural communities throughout the UK, delegates were told at a rail stakeholder conference organised by HITRANS, the regional transport partnership for the Highlands and Islands.   HITRANS is co-ordinating investigations into the feasibility of the proposal, called Branchliner, which would see a major new facility created at Kinbrace to freight the timber to southern markets via an expanded siding at Inverness railway station.  
Fuel poverty in 2014 remains the sameThumbnail for article : Fuel poverty in 2014 remains the same
In 2014 the level of fuel poverty remained similar to the previous year: 34.9% or around 845,000 households were fuel poor and 9.5% were living in extreme fuel poverty.  This compares to revised estimates of 35.8% or 860,000 fuel poor households in 2013, with 9.8% living in extreme fuel poverty[1].  
Big gains for fishing industry
The fish quota package agreed in Brussels includes big gains for the Scottish industry worth around £25 million to the whitefish fleet, Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said today.   Mr Lochhead said the overall package includes increased fish quota in 16 out of 23 key Scottish stocks, including cod and haddock.  
Scottish Public Sector Employment
Public Sector Employment Statistics for Scotland, released today by Scotlands Chief Statistician, show that over the year to Q3 2015, employment in the public sector in Scotland has decreased by 500 (down 0.1 per cent) to 544,700.  The lowest level seen since the series began in 1999.