Enterprise agency appoints chief executive

14th June 2017

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has appointed a new chief executive. Charlotte Wright, who is currently the agency’s Director of Business and Sector Development, has held the role of Interim Chief Executive since the end of August last year. HIE has a budget of £65.9m in 2017-18, including £55.7m from…

Scrabster Harbour looks forward with confidence in 2017

31st January 2017

Scotland’s most northerly mainland commercial port, Scrabster Harbour Trust enjoyed continued strong success in 2016 bringing in more than £2.95 million in revenues from increased port activity. Throughout 2016, Scrabster saw more than 2,248 vessel arrivals, up 1.5% from last year. Due to increased activity across its traditional and target…

Caithness to build a £1m Iron Age broch

24th October 2016 from Gabriella Bennett writes for The Times Online

An Iron Age roundhouse is to be built in Caithness using ancient methods to bring the area’s prehistoric legacy to life (. The stone structure, known as a broch, is to be modelled on a similar building in Shetland constructed about 2,000 years ago. One of many built in Scotland,…

Future of technology – is it being forged in Wick?

21st October 2016 from The John O'Groat Journal, 21/10/2016

The future of technology is not in San Francisco or London; it is in Wick. That is the view of an apps development education programme which claims Wick High School is leading the world in technological education at secondary school level. Thanks to its success, schools across Scotland are set…

Highland castle visitor numbers fortify

20th October 2016 from The Press & Journal, October 20th 2016

One of the largest castles in the Highlands has witnessed a huge growth in visitor numbers since tourists began flocking to the region for the North Coast 500. Dunrobin Castle in Golspie, which dates back to the early 1300s and is the most northerly of Scotland’s great houses, has enjoyed…

Route helps gin firm grow – fast

20th October 2016 from Press & Journal, Thursday 20th October 2016

The Caithness-based producers of the award-winning Rock Rose Gin have had to fast-track expansion plans because of the North Coast 500. Dunnet Bay Distillers said visitor numbers had soared at the site in the last year, and that they were now planning to open a shop this winter to cash-in.…

Scottish power line moves ahead

19th October 2016 from Energy Voice

A temporary compound has been built on Scotland’s Moray coast as part of a massive subsea cable project. Specialist drilling equipment is being set up at Tannachy Sands near Portgordon to create a power line between the region and Caithness. Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is investing £1.1billion in…

Dounreay represents north at young workforce award finals

23rd September 2016 from Caithness Courier / Dounreay News

Dounreay’s site licence company DSRL is celebrating after winning an award for its commitment to develop the careers of its young workers. It has won the North Highland Region Developing the Young Workforce (DWY) award. The company will now go up against the Inverness and West Region winners and will…

Scottish Enterprise launches Collaboration Prize 2016/17

13th September 2016

Businesses are being urged to consider collaborating to achieve growth and access new markets - Prize now open for entries The aim of the Collaboration Prize is to encourage firms to think collaboratively and pitch an idea for a new collaborative enterprise that will help them to access new markets.…

Public Engagement Event – Wick – 14 September 2016 4pm to 7pm at Mackays Hotel

13th September 2016

On the 23rd May 2016, Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL) announced that the green light had been given for construction of the 588MW, 84 turbine Beatrice offshore wind farm situated in the Outer Moray Firth. During the lifetime of the offshore wind farm, an operations and maintenance (O&M) base will…

Turbines for world’s first large-scale tidal energy farm ready

13th September 2016

Scotland will be home to the world’s first ever large-scale tidal stream farm as part of a drive to develop Scotland’s marine renewables industry, creating jobs and investment. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited the MeyGen project, owned by Atlantis Resources, to see the first turbines in the planned tidal stream…

New business start-up for Thurso

26th August 2016 from All Media Scotland / HIE

Five new jobs have been created thanks to the establishment of a new business in Caithness and Sutherland’s energy sector. Envision Engineering & Design Ltd (Envision) has been set up by directors, Liam Sutherland and Stuart Anderson, both of whom are originally from Caithness. The new company delivers full design…

Business urged to apply to EDGE fund

17th August 2016 from Caithness Business Index

Businesses in the Highlands and Islands are being encouraged to apply to the next round of Scottish EDGE funding and the chance to win up to £100,000 each in grants and loans. The Scottish Government funded competition supports and encourages business growth in Scotland. The ninth round for applications opens…

Augmented Reality is coming to the Highlands

17th August 2016 from Caithness Business Index

Whether it’s immersing your next customer in a digital tour, testing your design concepts before investing in production, or developing ways for patients to receive medical advice virtually, technology is opening up new opportunities for business. hellodigital has teamed up with Scottish firm Soluis, which specialises in visualisation and 3D…

Free export advice as export hub visits Highlands

17th August 2016 from Caithness Business Index

The Export Hub is a UK Government initiative backed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI). It is currently touring Scotland and will be in Sleat on Skye on Wednesday 31 August; Cairndow 29 August; Inverness 2 September; and Forres…

New world heavy champion crowned at Halkirk Games - see slideshow of photos

16th August 2016 from Gordon Calder for John O'Groat Journal

Scott Rider was crowned world heavy champion at the record-breaking Halkirk Highland Games at the weekend, held in Caithness for the first time. The Englishman defeated last year’s winner, Dan McKim from America, to take the title. And just two weeks ago the 38-year-old PE teacher won the Scottish Highland…

Dounreay sponsors employment course

15th August 2016 from Caithness.org Community

Seven students have successfully completed the Ready Steady Work course sponsored by Dounreay and North Highland College. The course gives the students an opportunity to prepare themselves for employment by giving them the skills and knowledge they need to secure the job they want. The course content includes job seeking…

Caithness gym enters 70 into Loch Ness Beast Race

15th August 2016 from John O'Groat Journal Online

Seventy members of the Hamilton Optimum Training gym will take part in the Loch Ness Beast Race. The challenge will see them tackle a 10 kilometre obstacle course along the banks of the loch, taking them through dense forest, undergrowth, rough dirt tracks and a dip in its waters. It…

SHE Transmission brings light to Wick’s War Memorial

15th August 2016 from ssepd.co.uk

Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission (SHE Transmission) has given its support to Wick Community Council to light up one of the town’s most recognisable landmarks in memory of those who lost their lives during the World Wars. Overlooking Wick River and Bridge Street, the memorial occupies a prominent position in the…

Important Milestone Reached In £1.1 billion Caithness-Moray project

20th July 2016 from Caithness Business Index

The installation of four cable ducts through the rock beneath Noss Head, north of Wick, and almost 500 metres out to sea has been successfully completed as part of Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission’s (SHE Transmission’s) £1.1 billion Caithness-Moray project. While the ducts were being drilled around 20 metres beneath the…

MeyGen project energised at Ness of Quoys

13th July 2016 from Caithness Business Index

Atlantis, a global leader in the tidal power sector, is pleased to announce a major technical milestone for its flagship MeyGen project in northern Scotland. The MeyGen project is now connected to the 33kV Ness of Quoys distribution network following the successful installation of one of the longest underground 33kV…

Restored Thurso building to throw open its doors

13th July 2016 from Caithness Business Index

The Highland Council is to throw open the doors of 30 Princes Street on the corner with St John Square in Thurso on Saturday 16th July 2016 to give members of the public, councillors and community councillors the chance to see how it has restored and brought back into use…

Wave of optimism for Wick seaweed firm

5th July 2016 from Caithness Business Index

The first batches of seaweed have been harvested and processed by a new food and drink business in Wick. New Wave Foods has invested £240,000 at its newly fitted out premises on the Wick Industrial Estate with support of £60,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). The company turns wild-harvested…

Seal of approval for Caithness engineering skills from Aberdeen manufacturer

29th June 2016

An Aberdeen oil and gas company that located its manufacturing operation to Lybster in Caithness says it is delighted with the results. Torque machine manufacturer Enerquip secured £60,000 investment from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) towards the £240,000 initial capital equipment and employment costs at Lybster. Four high quality, well…

Cyclist James McCallum demolishes Mark Beaumont’s North Coast 500 record

20th June 2016 from Edinburgh News

Edinburgh cyclist James McCallum was a very tired but proud man today after he demolished the record held by Mark Beaumont for the North Coast 500 route. The 37 year old had embarked on the daunting 517 mile challenge to raise money for the Thrombosis UK charity in memory of…

Development agencies welcome SSE’s Beatrice offshore wind announcement

23rd May 2016

Confirmation that SSE is to go ahead with its investment in the Beatrice Offshore Wind project has been welcomed by both of Scotland’s economic development agencies. The project is expected to deliver billions of pounds of investment during construction, installation and longer-term operation and maintenance of the windfarm. Both Scottish…

Caithness Broch Project enter new phase for growth

28th April 2016

Kenneth McElroy, pictured below, is an ambitious director with Caithness Broch Project. For the last year he’s been behind the scenes working hard to promote and develop the venture, and now the next part of the journey is underway. You can find out more in the leaflets the team have…

Caithness achieves WorldHost Recognised Destination status

28th April 2016 from Caithness Chamber of Commerce

Caithness Chamber of Commerce is delighted to announce that Caithness has become the first region in Scotland to achieve WorldHost Recognised Destination Status – a huge win for the area and a recognition of the outstanding customer service offered by businesses in the area. WorldHost Recognised Destination status is awarded…

Digital Tourism Scotland - Help for Tourism in Caithness and Sutherland

28th April 2016 from Image: George Maciver via Facebook

Caithness Chamber of Commerce has been commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise to manage and facilitate an initiative highlighting the importance of digital for tourism businesses. Exclusively focused on the tourism industry for Caithness and Sutherland, the initiative aims to bring businesses up to speed on the capabilities, functionality and…

Denchi Power announce the acquisition of Oldham from Enersys Ltd

28th April 2016 from Denchi Power

Denchi Power Ltd. is excited to announce that, as of 8th January 2016, it has acquired the Oldham mining/safety lamp business from Enersys Ltd. With a world-famous product that has roots in mining history dating back to the early 1900s, Denchi Power continues to operate in the same business areas…

Your Cash Your Caithness - More Council Funding for Caithness Groups

28th April 2016 from Highland Council / CVG

Caithness Members of the Highland Council have set aside £30k from the Ward Discretionary Budget to let the local community decide for themselves which projects are needed in their area. Whether you want to organise a dance for young people, a healthy living project, a crime prevention idea, a lunch…

Caithness braces itself for arrival of dental specialist

28th April 2016 from John O'Groat Journal

Dental patients in Caithness who require braces will no longer have to travel more than 100 miles to receive NHS treatment. From next month, they can be catered for in the county with the appointment of Greek orthodontist Athanasios Nasiopoulos to the Dunbar Dental Clinic in Thurso. The clinic currently…

Talks for Caithness to Edinburgh sleeper service on the line

28th April 2016 from John O'Groat Journal

HITRANS believe a rail sleeper service could benefit Caithness and Orkney. Highland and Islands Strategic Transport Partnership (HITRANS) has discussed with Caledonian Sleeper the possibility of establishing the seven-hour service which it claims could boost the economy of the far north and Orkney. HITRANS chairman James Stockan, who is running…

Wick Heritage gets oral record

28th April 2016 from Wick Heritage Society

On 9th February 2016 a small group met to discuss the setting up of an Oral History Section of Wick Society. The aim is to develop an intergenerational project whereby the young people of the local community will use their technological skills to interview and record oral histories relating to…

Caithness among 20 best prehistoric places to visit in Scotland

28th April 2016 from Scotsman Online

Two excellent prehistoric sites in Caithness, Camster Cairns and Hill o’ Many Stanes, were both recently featured in an article from The Scotsman online listing 20 of Scotland’s best sites. The rich heritage and accessible sites are two of the excellent attributes Caithness has to offer visitors, drawing tourists from…

North Coast 500 named Britain’s favourite drive

28th April 2016 from North Coast 500

The North Coast 500 - dubbed the country’s Route 66 - topped the poll conducted to celebrate the American drive’s 90th anniversary. The route, which starts and ends at Inverness Castle, was launched last year and lets tourists view the northern Highlands’ stunning scenery. It includes the Bealach na Bá…

NDA Archive recruitment begins

27th April 2016 from The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

Recruitment will shortly begin in earnest for the new NDA (Nuclear Decommissioning Authority) Archive currently being built in Wick. The facility will not only collect and store records from across the nuclear industry, but will also house the impressive collection of the local Caithness Archive. As principal contractor Morrison Construction…

Plans for broch replica to show history of Caithness

18th March 2016 from John O'Groat Journal Online

A group of local historians are pursuing plans to build a replica of an Iron Age broch in a venture they believe could become a prominent tourist landmark in the far north. Caithness Broch Project (CBP) wants to create the broch and an adjoining dry stone dyking workshop to tell…

Caithness RFC seeks success with female players

14th March 2016

Caithness is punching well above its weight in girls’ and women’s rugby as the success of players in competitions and at international level is making Scottish Rugby take a closer look at an area which is hundreds of miles away from the heartland of the game. Over the last three…

Dornoch to host international conference on coastal history

1st February 2016 from Northern Times Online

The history of coastal areas will be the focus of an international conference to be held in Dornoch next month. Organised by the University of the Highlands and Islands Centre for History, “Firths and Fjords: A Coastal History Conference” will feature expert speakers from around the globe. More than 70…

Jobs boost for Thurso battery plant

1st February 2016 from John O'Groat Journal Online

Five new jobs are being created at the battery plant in Thurso. AGM Batteries, based at the town’s Business Park, is taking on the new staff to help it fulfill its part of a £75 million project to develop new low carbon and energy efficient technology for the motor industry.…

Caithness distillery toasts entry on gin trail

1st February 2016 from John O'Groat Journal Online

Dunnet Bay Distillers have been included in a new tour drawn up to promote the best gin distillers, bars and visitor experiences in Scotland. The producer of Rock Rose Gin is one of 12 locations on the Scotland Gin Trail, which gives people the chance to visit and drink at…

HIE study will examine possible space role for Sutherland

29th January 2016

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…

£10,000 boost to showcase best of Caithness and Sutherland

21st January 2016

A marketing project which aims to promote, showcase and highlight Caithness and Sutherland using a series of short films has been given a £10,000 boost from the VisitScotland Growth Fund. The grant from the national tourism organisation has been awarded to Venture North for its ‘Venture North Discovery Series’ year-long…

Scottish Minister launches HITRANS rural airports project

4th January 2016 from Sutherland Business Index

HITRANS, the regional transport partnership for the Highlands and Islands, is spearheading a significant European-funded project to assist and develop rural and remote airports with use of new technologies. SPARA 2020, which stands for Smart Peripheral and Remote Airports, is a three-year €2.4 million Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme area…

Big gains for fishing industry

4th January 2016 from Sutherland Business Index

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.…

Army reserves attract new recruits in Caithness

4th January 2016 from John O'Groat Journal

The number of people joining the Army Reserve is on the rise in Caithness, it has emerged. The organisation has nine new local applicants who have signed up since it began efforts to reinstate a presence in the county. It has also revealed it has agreed a deal to once…

Air discount boost for Caithness passengers

4th January 2016 from John O'Groat Journal

Far North air travellers have been given a New Year boost with an increase in the value of the Scottish Government’s air discount scheme. From today, the discount on the core air fares for those who have registered goes up from 40 per cent to 50 per cent. The move…

Fire engine finds new home in the north

4th January 2016 from Caithness Business Index

Thanks to the NDAs online Asset Transfer Scheme, Dounreay has acquired a third fire engine. The scheme enables redundant equipment to be re-used and recycled across NDAs estate. Since the Sizewell site, in Suffolk, completed defueling, its fire team has been disbanded. So they were looking to re-home the sites…

Caithness men honoured in New Year Honours list

4th January 2016 from John O'Groat Journal

Two men from Caithness have been awarded the British Empire Medal after being named in the New Year’s Honours list. Sandy Gunn from Thurso, who established Caithness Amateur Athletics Club in the 1950’s, and is a member of the Caithness Family History Society, was honoured for services to heritage and…

Timber from the Flow Country - rail conference delegates hear of ambitious plans

4th January 2016

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…

Boost for Highland young workforce - Regional employers look towards the future.

24th September 2015

Representatives from the North Highland business community are to lead work to develop Scotland’s young workforce in the region. Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training Roseanna Cunningham has today announced a North Highland Developing the Young Workforce regional group to improve links between education and work and increase…

Caithness Chamber of Commerce launches “Developing the Young Workforce” initiative

24th September 2015

Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training Roseanna Cunningham has today (23rd September) announced a North Highland Developing the Young Workforce regional group to improve links between education and work and increase opportunities for young people in the far north of the country. Civic Leader, Cllr Gail Ross officially…

New competition for entrepreneurial youths launched

26th August 2015

The North Highland Regeneration Fund (NHRF) and North Highland College (NHC) are delighted to announce the launch of the iStart Challenge, a competition designed to encourage entrepreneurial spirit amongst young people in the area. The competition, which is aimed at young people aged 16-24 living in Caithness and North Sutherland,…

Caithness Horizons Museum welcomes half a million visitors

12th August 2015

Tuesday 11th August saw local group No Limits Caithness visit the Museum for a morning packed with Viking activities with Curator Joanne Howdle, or Thordis Eiríksdóttir as she is fondly known to local groups and schools.  The group helped the Museum to hit the half million visitors mark and to…

Caithness surfers to take on Eurosurf challenge

11th August 2015 from johnogroat-journal.co.uk

Surfers from Caithness make up half of the seven-strong Scotland squad competing at the European surfing championships next month. Mark Boyd and Shoana Blackadder, from Thurso, along with Chris Clarke, from Dunnet, will be heading to Morocco to represent their country at Eurosurf on Saturday, September 12. Boyd and Blackadder…

From Caithness to the World

6th August 2015 from NDA Press release

A ceremonial turf cutting ceremony marked the official start of building work on the new archive that will store nuclear records from across the UK. David Flear, chairman of the Dounreay Stakeholder Group, dug into the ground at the Wick site where the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s Nuclear Archive will start…

Call to join in butterfly count

22nd July 2015 from John O'Groat Journal Online

Caithnessians are being called on to join in with the big butterfly count this summer, aimed at helping assess the health of the environment. Butterflies react very quickly to change in their environment making them good biodiversity indicators. Drops in their numbers are an early warning for other wildlife losses.…

Caithness Renewables and CVG partner with Caithness Rural Transport for a sustainable future

20th July 2015

Caithness Chamber of Commerce members Caithness Voluntary Group and Caithness Renewables Ltd shared the limelight recently. Caithness Rural Transport, part of Caithness Voluntary Group, provides a Dial-A-Ride door to door transport service for people with mobility problems. Working with Project Manager Louise Smith, director of Caithness Renewables, the Caithness team…

Caithness harbour cashes in on Shetland oil and gas boom

20th July 2015 from Herald Scotland

Scrabster harbour in the north coast town of Thurso has enjoyed a surge in oil and gas related traffic as companies work on projects in the North Sea. Majors including BP and Shell are investing heavily in developing giant fields West of Shetland such as Clair Ridge. Scrabster Harbour Trust…

The Musical Map Of Caithness Takes You On A Tour

9th July 2015 from Caithness.org

The ‘Musical Map of Caithness’ is the brand new CD & project produced by local musician Gordon Gunn and other musical talents from across Scotland with the North Highland Initiative (NHI). The musical map has been created in order to enhance the current visitor experience to Caithness while also raising…

Highland Council invites tenders for ICT Core Services

8th July 2015 from Caithness Business Index

The Highland Council has published its notice to tender for ICT Core Services on Public Contracts Scotland website. The scope of the ICT Core Services to be sourced under this procurement are broadly defined as ‘providing managed technology infrastructure, application systems and desktop services required for the delivery of the…

Northlink crew sign up for Oceanwatch

6th July 2015 from http://www.johnogroat-journal.co.uk/

Northlink Ferries’ crew are now on the lookout for whales, dolphins and porpoises when sailing between the mainland and the Northern Isles. Twelve of their crew members have gone through training to help them spot the creatures. The ferry company and sea mammal conservation charity ORCA are preapring to launch…

Scientists from around the world gather in Thurso for conference

6th July 2015

Scientists from around the world recently gathered in Thurso for an annual biological sciences meeting. The Larwood Symposium was hosted by the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) of the North Highland College UHI on behalf of the International Bryozoology Association.  Delegates travelled from as far as New Zealand, Mexico, Brazil and…

Caithness professor given prestigious award for contribution to physics

3rd July 2015 from pressandjournal.co.uk

A Caithness-based professor has been awarded a prestigious medal in recognition of his work to develop scientific equipment which he likens to Doctor Who’s sonic screwdriver. Professor Iain Baikie, who founded Wick-based KP Technology Ltd in 2000, received the Swan Medal from the Institute of Physics for his development of…

Scrabster set to welcome cruise ship

29th June 2015 from johnogroat-journal.co.uk

Scrabster is set to welcome its second cruise ship of the summer when hundreds of passengers are set to arrive at the port on Sunday. The Minerva will dock at the deep-water Queen Elizabeth Pier from Invergordon before heading for Stornoway. Highland Council have laid on free buses between the…

Estrella rock the crowd at Download Festival

29th June 2015 from johnogroat-journal.co.uk

Thurso band Estrella played the gig of a lifetime when they performed on stage at the biggest heavy metal music festival in the UK. Over 90,000 fans attended the Download Festival at Donnington Park as Estrella played on the Doghouse Stage. The band which consists of Thurso brothers Paul, Luke…

Wick High’s app-lication wins over judges

23rd June 2015

Pupils from Wick High School have come up trumps in a dragon’s den style competition to design problem-solving apps. The Highlands and Islands ‘Apps for Good’ final took place today when 30 schools from across the region pitched their products via live videos to a panel of judges based at…

Preferred contractor announced for NDA Nuclear Archive

23rd June 2015 from nda.gov.uk

NDA Archives Ltd, an NDA subsidiary, has named Crimson as its preferred contractor to set up and manage the UK’s new Nuclear Archive when the building is constructed. Crimson will be responsible for the safe and secure transport and storage of 70 years-worth of historic information from all of the…

Have your say on Pilot Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan

22nd June 2015

A consultation is being launched on a plan that will be used to guide development activity in the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters. Members of the public will soon have the opportunity to give feedback on the draft plan. The Marine Spatial Plan has been developed by a working group…

Beatrice Offshore Wind in support of Wick RNLI Open Day

22nd June 2015

Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm Ltd (BOWL) showed support for this year’s Wick Lifeboat Station’s RNLI Open Day on Saturday 20 June at Wick Harbour. The free annual event offered, as always, a fun family day out with local food and drink stalls, games and an opportunity to meet the local…

Flag day planned to mark unveiling of winning design

17th June 2015 from John O'Groat Journal

An annual Caithness Day has been mooted to celebrate the impending creation of the county’s first modern-day flag. It is one of a number of spin-offs which could result from the raising of what will be the first registered area flag on the Scottish mainland. A judging panel met on…

Heritage restored at tourist destination by North Highland College UHI students

11th June 2015

Students based at the North Highland College UHI’s Engineering, Technology and Energy Centre (ETEC) in Thurso have recently refurbished and re-installed an old hand winch at John O Groats Harbour by the First and Last shop. Although the winch has not been restored back to working order for safety reasons…

Wick’s PPP leads new jobs scheme

11th June 2015 from johnogroat-journal.co.uk

Pultneytown People’s Project (PPP) is to launch a new employment programme in Wick later this month. The course, which starts on Monday, June 15, will help people get a qualification and work experience. PPP chief executive Katrina MacNab said: “The course helps people who genuinely want to gain employment, gain…

Thurso Swimming Pool Contract Awarded For Major Upgrade

10th June 2015

High Life Highland has announced that the contract to provide new improved facilities at Thurso Swimming Pool has been awarded to local contractor O’Brien Construction Ltd. The project jointly funded by The Highland Council and sportscotland will see a total investment of £2.7M in the facility providing a new gym/fitness…

Allocation of additional funding for Highland roads, bridges and flood alleviation schemes

7th June 2015

On Wednesday 3 June 2015 Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee members agreed the final allocation of capital funds for road improvements, bridges and flood prevention schemes for the next three years. The additional funding is over and above that currently allocated for named major projects including the Westlink, Inshes Junction,…

Torque experts launch EnerQuip

2nd June 2015

EnerQuip, a new oil and gas services business being launched in Aberdeen, is expected to create 16 jobs. The business, which is to make an initial investment commitment of £6m, has been established to provide torque machines and associated services to the drilling and downhole tools sectors. Initially located in…

Castletown Heritage Society launch: A window on the hidden bronze age landscape of Caithness

28th May 2015

Castletown Heritage Society has recently unveiled its plans for an innovative new tourism project entitled “A window on the hidden bronze age landscape of Caithness”. The project is in partnership with AOC Archaeology, and will use remote sensing technology to produce 3D maps of archaeological sites in Caithness, which will…

Thurso bakery in running for accolade

4th May 2015 from John O'Groat Journal

Judges for the 2015 Scottish Baker of the Year have revealed the nine finalists in the running for the accolade. Reid’S of Caithness has been shortlisted for the competition to be named the best bakery in Scotland. Reid’s, which is based at Ormlie Industrial Estate in Thurso, will be asked…

Call for food and drink firms to take part in awards

4th May 2015

It is the ultimate recognition of excellence for local food and drink businesses. That is how Shirley Spear, chairman of the new Scottish Food Commission, describes the Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards. Mrs Spear – founder and director of Michelin-starred restaurant The Three Chimneys and The House Over-By…

Enterprise pupils are top team

4th May 2015

Young Enterprise is, in its own words, “the UK’s leading enterprise and financial education charity.” It gives young people the chance to create their own business and to work as a group to learn about the world of business. The programme allows young people to develop the knowledge and attitudes…

Caithness the focus of BBC Landward

4th May 2015

Caithness featured heavily last Friday night (May 1st) on the popular BBC One programme, Landward. The 30 minute show, broadcast at 7:30pm on BBC One, saw Dougie Vipond and the team head to the Caithness coast and the tempestuous waters of the Pentland Firth. Euan McIlwraith visited the uninhabited island…

Entries invited for the Scottish Thistle Awards

4th May 2015 from caithness Business Index

For over 20 years the Scottish Thistle Awards have been recognised as Scotland’s tourism industry Oscars. These prestigious awards are without doubt the ones our industry leaders want to have in their trophy cabinet and there are five weeks left to get your application in. The annual competition celebrates success,…

Relay JOGGers on course to break end-to-end record

3rd May 2015

A team of 12 runners are due to arrive at Land’s End today (Sunday) in a bid to beat the Guinness World Record for a relay run from John O’Groats. The runners set off from the famous Caithness landmark on Tuesday and aimed to complete the 923-mile trip in fewer…

Surge in Wick air passenger traffic

1st May 2015 from John O'Groat Journal

An increase in energy-related traffic at Wick John O’Groats airport has helped boost passenger numbers. Figures released by Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) show the number of passengers using the Caithness airport rose from 6313 in the first quarter of 2014 to 10,387 for the same period this year,…

Replica fishing yawl on show as waterlines opens at Lybster

1st May 2015 from caithness.org

Waterlines Heritage Centre opened on 1 May 2015 for its summer season. It will be open daily from 11.00 am to 5.00 pm. The replica of the 19th century fishing yawl which was built in the workshop at Waterlines by John Cameron, a local boat builder, is now housed in…

Politicians call in on JGC

1st May 2015 from John O'Groat Journal

Scotland Office minister Jim Wallace was impressed when he was shown round a Caithness engineering firm which is involved in a tidal energy project in the Pentland Firth. Baron Wallace of Tankerness, the former MP for Orkney and Shetland, toured JGC Engineering and Technical Services Ltd at Janetstown on Wednesday.…

Determined dozen out to break record

1st May 2015

A team of 12 runners set off on Monday in a bid to beat the Guinness World Record for a relay run from John O’Groats to Land’s End. The runners hope to complete the 923-mile trip in fewer than six days and not only get into the record books but…

Caithness to feature on Landward

1st May 2015 from John O'Groat Journal

Caithness is set to heavily feature on BBC One programme Landward tonight as the show explores different aspects of the county. Hosted by Dougie Vipond, he goes on a ride with crew members of Thurso Lifeboat to learn about the dangers of the Pentland Firth. Sarah Mack will be on…

Fern sets off from Groats on charity cycle marathon

1st May 2015 from John O'Groat Journal

A television personality has began her epic 874 mile journey from Caithness to Cornwall to raise money for a miscarriage charity. Fern Britton set off from John O’Groats this morning at the start of her 20 day cycle challenge from John O’Groats to Land’s End. Given a piper’s welcome at…

Ecosse Subsea Systems Secures Seabed Work on Caithness to Moray Connector

29th April 2015 from Ecosse Subsea Systems Ltd - News

Ecosse Subsea Systems (ESS) has signed a Letter of Intent with ABB, the leading firm within power and automation technologies, for a seabed clearance and trenching project in the north of Scotland. The Banchory-based subsea technology firm will prepare the route for the 100-mile interconnector cable at the centre of…

Caithness business in sparkling form

29th April 2015

When Sandra Campbell, from Halkirk in Caithness, was looking for a business she could run from home, she spotted a gap in the market for a cleaning service so she launched Urfreetime –  a domestic and business cleaning service. The company, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this month and created…

Choral concerts spring into life

27th April 2015 from johnogroat-journal.co.uk

Two spring concerts by Wick Choral Society are to be held with the content tailored to match the mood of the season. The group’s programme this season includes Mozart’s ever popular “Ave verum”, the “Hymn to the Virgin” from Rachmaninov’s Vespers, the Mendelssohn anthem “Hear My Prayer” – most famous…

Cinema firm all set to bring movie nights to Wick

17th April 2015 from John O'Groat Journal 17/04/15

The silver screen is set to return to Wick in the latest initiative spearheaded by the operators of the cinema complex in Thurso. In what is believed to be the first venture of its kind anywhere in the UK, Thurso Cinema owner Rob Arthur is in advanced talks to establish…

Steady progress on Caithness-Moray transmission link

2nd April 2015 from Andrew Williams - Maritime Journal

In recent months, steady progress has been made on the £1.2 billion scheme to install a new electricity transmission link across the Moray Firth between Caithness and Moray. So, what work has been carried out on the link so far? What work is currently being carried out? And what tasks…

Forss deal to bring new jobs north

31st March 2015

Abbey Ecosse Ltd has announced the purchase of the Forss Business and Technology Park from Graham & Sibbald. The news may lead to a jobs boost for the area, with the company relocating some of its existing energy-related business to Forss, and seeking to develop new business. Neil Robertson is…

Lockheed Martin to make MeyGen Pentland Firth turbine

30th March 2015 from BBC NEWS

Defence contractor Lockheed Martin is to manufacture a tidal turbine for a marine renewables scheme in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth. The US company has been working with the developer Atlantis on the design of the 1.5MW AR1500 turbine since 2013. It will be one of four devices…

NDA leap forward with archive plans

19th March 2015

Plans to build a nuclear archive on the outskirts of Wick, which are several years in the making, are expected to receive approval next week when they are considered by members of the Highland Council’s north planning applications committee. Planning officials have recommended that the proposals be approved by members,…

Wave Energy Scotland is ‘open for business’ with £7 million technology innovation competition

19th March 2015

Wave Energy Scotland (WES), a new research and development body funded by the Scottish Government, is open for business with the launch of its first international technology innovation competition. Part of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, WES is issuing a competitive project call for innovative power take-off (PTO) systems. Applications are…

Abellio to launch scenic railway routes initiative

10th March 2015

Scotland’s most picturesque train routes are to be rebranded as “Great Scenic Railway Journeys of Scotland” in an attempt to woo more passengers. Six lines across the country will be promoted in a campaign to be launched in May by new ScotRail operator Abellio. It will be followed by trains…

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