The planning application for Space Hub Sutherland will be submitted today (Friday 7th February) to Highland Council. This will now be considered by the North Area Planning Committee.
Wick John O’Groats Airport has been the subject of significant partnership efforts, led by the Chamber of Commerce, to achieve a Public Service Obligation for services to Aberdeen and Edinburgh.
The aspiration is to achieve a public service obligation and if necessary public funded support for a timetable to allow reliable, affordable connections to enable a full day’s business to be possible in either direction and open up a significant number of connections to International destinations.
An options appraisal published in April 2019 was followed by a ministerial visit in August 2019 and subsequent discussions with Transport Scotland continue. A final business case is being prepared to be submitted imminently for consideration.
Full Fibre Network for Public Services in Highland Locations
As part of the SWAN programme, Cityfibre full fibre is being rolled out in Thurso and Wick. This is publicly funded so can only be used for public sector buildings. This is an innovative project that sees collaboration between Highland Council, Highland and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Natural Heritage, NHS Highland, the University of Highlands and Islands (UHI) and the Department of Digital Culture Media and Support (DCMS) to connect to a newly built full fibre network. Full fibre connectivity is crucial for the future development of digital services and smart city applications, such as smart traffic controls. Full fibre will enhance digital learning and improve the performance of devices such as tablets and computers for children in Highland schools and will provide crucial links with nurses for remote health care.
Alongside this network Cityfibre are putting in extra cables, at their own expense, that can later be used for further public buildings or commercial use. This is good for businesses that are looking to upgrade to full fibre or a leased line type service. It’s hoped, if there is enough demand, that Fibre1 and Highnet, who work with Cityfibre in Aberdeen will bring their services to Thurso and Wick.
To promote this service the UK Government are offering a broadband voucher scheme – The Rural Gigabit Voucher Scheme – which contributes up to £3500 towards the cost of an SNE to connect to a Gigabit Capable Connection or up to £1500 for a residential connection, which needs a minimum of two residents to take the service. https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/rural/ These vouchers can be used with a large number of service providers.
https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/for-businesses/suppliers/ These providers will use either the new Cityfibre or the current Openreach network.
Businesses or residents out with Thurso and Wick can use these vouchers but might be limited to the Openreach network only.
Scottish Business Resilience Centre – workshop, North Highland College, Thurso
In the face of ever growing cyber threats, businesses are being encouraged to put their safety first. You will have the opportunity to discuss and compare best practice with other businesses and you will be updated on the most up-to–date cyber threats and given examples of how best to improve your cyber resilience.
Come along to the next Cyber Resilience Workshop being held on Friday 21st February, in the Newton Room, North Highland College, Thurso. Information for this event can be found in the link below.
Planet Sutherland – Business Survey
Planet Sutherland are a new group aiming to help everyone to help the planet. This might be in making tiny changes or by becoming involved in small or large projects to help the planet. It might just be becoming more informed of changes that will affect you at home and at business and this will help you understand the obstacles preventing change.
The survey is for anyone in Sutherland who runs any form of business, charity or group/association and will only take a couple of minutes to complete.
It is hoped to hold a talk and workshop on how businesses can benefit from making changes that benefit the climate, as well as their profits. The survey gathers information on the best time and location for this.
Skills – Job opportunities
‘Caithness Jobs and how to get them’ 2020 event
The Annual Jobs Fair event is being held tomorrow, Saturday 8th February 2020, Wick High School from 10a.m. until 2p.m. This event is run by the Developing the Young Workforce team and helps put employers and prospective employees together. The event offers careers advice and will also include presentations from the NHS, Armed Forces, Hospitality & Tourism Industry and North Highland College UHI.
Lyth Arts Centre
Lyth Art Centre, Wick, are looking for an Education and Outreach Coordinator to help deliver LAC’s education and outreach programme. If you are that dynamic individual, or know someone who is, if you are confident and eager to engage with local and young groups in the area, the post will be ideal for you. Closing date is Sunday 16th February.
Nuclear Decommissioning Authority Stakeholder Research 2020
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority are collating information via a questionnaire that will give them a better understanding of the perceptions and expectations that stakeholders have of the organisation. It is hoped that the information collated will provide them with necessary input that will help shape future engagement with stakeholders.
The questionnaire is being carried out by Opinion Research Services (ORS), an independent research company and the NDA will only receive a summary and anonymous data of the results. Any information that you provide will be processed in accordance with the UK Data Protection Act 2018 and the EU General Protection Regulation.
If you wish to participate in this research the questionnaire below should be completed by Saturday 22nd February 2020.
Improving energy efficiency in owner occupier homes – Consultation paper.
A consultation paper has been published by the Scottish government seeking views on a standard for home efficiency. This paper outlines the importance to reduce both greenhouse gas emissions and fuel poverty. It sets out details of energy efficient standards that home owners can hopefully aim to meet by 2024 and onwards. This consultation paper advises how homeowners can be guided and supported to bring their homes up to this standard. Responses to the consultation paper are invited and should be submitted before Thursday 26th March 2020. Access to this consultation paper and others proposals can be found at http://consult.gov.scot/ To view and respond to this energy efficient paper click on the link
Changes to Recycling Centres
Household Waste Recycling Centres in the Highlands have placed new restrictions with affect from Monday 3rd February 2020. These restrictions are to help maximise the facility to householders, while preventing the commercial misuse of the recycling centres. For further information check out the Highland Council website
General points of interest:
Scottish Online Community Directory – Health and Wellbeing information
ALISS – A Local Information System for Scotland programme is funded by the Scottish Government and delivered by the Health and Social Care Alliance. https://www.aliss.org/
ALISS provides free information on community services, groups and activities that can help you live well. Information on Mental Health support, Homelessness support, Foodbanks and money advice can all be found on the website. The site is managed by people living and working in communities across Scotland. It provides local and international service information by simply entering the relevant postcode.
Groups and organisations are encouraged to join to help expand on any information that may be relevant to the community.
Its objectives are:
• to increase the information for people with long term health conditions, disabled people and unpaid carers.
• offers support to people to share information from professionals, communities and organisations.
• to ensure that stakeholders are informed and connected as part of a wider community of practice.
• to ensure ALISS is used and aligned with the Scottish Health and Social Care needs.