To EV or not to EV? That is the question for the DM Hall property professional Graham Forbes who covers the huge and sparsely populated Highland region. It has been a gradual transition, but I now have to confess that I am a convert to the concept of the electric vehicle, despite the fact that my beat - the Highlands and Islands - is the biggest and most thinly populated area in the UK.
The Highland Council's winter maintenance programme starts on 14 October 2023 and the Council is ready to treat - according to its policy - the 6,766km of roads for which it has responsibility. Chair of the Council's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Ken Gowans said: "We have the supplies and resources in place to provide a winter service according to the Council's policy.
Following the close of the withdrawal period today at 12 noon (Tuesday 10 October 2023), an election will be held for the 10 contested community councils across Highland. The contested community councils are: Bettyhill, Strathnaver and Altnaharra Croy and Culloden Moor Dunvegan Glengarry Kiltearn Melvich Spean Bridge, Roy Bridge and Achnacarry Thurso Watten Wester Loch Ewe Ballot papers are being posted out second class on Tuesday 31 October 2023.
Autumn is here and as the October school holidays have started, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is reminding working families to give their childcare budget a treat this Halloween by opening a Tax-Free Childcare account. Parents can use Tax-Free Childcare to help with childcare costs for school holiday clubs, breakfast or after school clubs, childminders or nurseries.
A funding boost of nearly £1million of revenue investment is set to benefit rural areas across Highland. The Highland Strategic Local Action Group who met during September, considered, and agreed funding for revenue projects submitted to the first round of the 2023/24 Community Regeneration Fund.
The election day is scheduled for Monday, 27 November 2023 and voting is by means of a postal vote. The maximum membership of each of the Highland Community Councils is determined by the population it serves and varies from 7 to 13 members.
The Highland Council, with support from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, is inviting Highland businesses to apply for funding to support the costs of green skills training for their workforce. Cllr Ken Gowans, Chair of the Council's Economy and Infrastructure Committee explained: "This Challenge Fund has been set up to support Highland businesses who wish to invest in their workforce and develop their green skills.
UHI A Tuath, An Iar is Innse Gall a' comharrachadh a bhith air a stèidheachadh mar a' cholaiste as ùire ann an Alba Tha UHI A Tuath, An Iar is Innse Gall a' comharrachadh a bhith air a stèidheachadh mar a' cholaiste as ùire ann an Alba an dèidh co-aonadh UHI Taobh Tuath na Gàidhealtachd, UHI Innse Gall agus UHI Taobh Siar na Gàidhealtachd. Stèidhichidh UHI A Tuath, An Iar is Innse Gall buidheann acaire ùr, a bhios a' ceangal choimhearsnachdan dùthchail agus eileanach tro fhoghlam agus rannsachadh comharraichte air a chumadh a rèir cultar, àite agus seallaidhean-tìre Taobh Tuath agus Siar na Gàidhealtachd, An t-Eilean Sgitheanach agus Innse Gall.
NHS Highland will take over the responsibility for running Armadale Medical Practice in Sutherland from Friday 1 July 2023. We have worked closely with Armadale Medical Practice over the last few months to ensure continuity of care and an effective transfer of responsibility.
Recent analysis shows that that over a third of waste in the average household refuse bin could be recycled or composted at home! The Highland Council has conducted a Waste Composition Analysis of the waste that householders put in their refuse and recycling bins. Funded by Zero Waste Scotland as part of a national analysis of the waste in household bins across Scotland, the results will enable the Council to focus on waste prevention and increasing recycling.
A report published by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce points up worries that investment is now moving to other parts of the world. Government needs to urgently create the conditions which will encourage investment in the energy sector or risk Aberdeen losing its global energy capital status, according to a new report.
New report sets out how integrating data, science and innovation can help make better use of UK land. New Geospatial Commission report recommends establishment of new Land Use Analysis Taskforce.
Scotland's increasingly valuable rural land is only available to a limited few as high demand from forestry, natural capital investment, and corporate estate buyers continues to drive high prices, according to a new report by the Scottish Land Commission. The Rural Land Market Insights Report 2023 underlines the need for action to ensure that communities, family farms, local businesses, and individuals are not priced out of the rural land market due to sustained high land prices driven by large-scale forestry and natural capital investments.
International Scotland, an initiative led by law firm CMS and the Fraser of Allander Institute, has launched a new report setting out key business priorities to be addressed to ensure the nation's economy can thrive. Focused on providing a platform to promote economic growth, International Scotland was launched last year with an initial report setting out the opportunities for growth across key sectors such as sustainable tourism, food & drink, life sciences and renewable energy.
The Tenant Farming Commissioner, Bob McIntosh, explores upcoming changes to the standards for agricultural housing in his latest blog. Scottish Ministers have clearly signalled that they would like a whole-sector approach to standards for rented housing - aligning not only the private and social rented sectors but also housing included in farm tenancies.
The Highland Council is now accepting expressions of interest for the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund for 2024-2025. The Regeneration Capital Grant Fund is delivered in partnership with the Scottish Government and COSLA.
A new course developed by UHI North Highland, UHI Outer Hebrides and UHI West Highland aims to equip graduates with the skills and knowledge to enter the fast-growing and dynamic green economy industry. Starting this September, the HNC Wildlife and Conservation Management course will focus on important activities such as ecology and ecosystems, species and habitat monitoring, conservation, land management and sustainable wildlife management.
The Highland Council will promote, on behalf of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), proposed byelaws to restrict public access rights during launches at the Sutherland SpacePort by Tongue. The proposed byelaws will be made available for public inspection and a 12-week public consultation will take place with key stakeholders.
Sutherland-based GMG Energy switched on its huge solar array to provide energy for its burgeoning local business. A sustainable timber products specialist which contributes significantly to the circular economy in the Highlands and the Northern Isles has become even more energy efficient after putting a massive solar array on the roof of its production facility into operation.
£14.6 Million Public Investment Package Confirmed for Carbon-Neutral Spaceport Project. Orbex has announced that construction has begun at Sutherland Spaceport (formerly known as Space Hub Sutherland) in Scotland, making this the first vertical launch spaceport to be built on the UK mainland.