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Friday, May 20, 2022

Caithness Projects Benefit From Funding Boost

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Three Caithness projects are set to benefit in the latest round of Place-Based Investment Programme (PBIP) funding for 2021/22.

The Scottish Government’s Place-Based Investment Funding (PBIF) gave Highland Council £1,963,000 of ring-fenced money for 2021/22 and area distribution of the grant was agreed by Members of the Economy and Infrastructure Committee in September last year.

The aim of the PBIP is to ensure that all place-based investments are shaped by the needs and aspirations of local communities and accelerate ambitions for place, town centre action, community led regeneration and community wealth building.

The current grant needs to be contractually committed by 31 March 2022.

Members at the Caithness Committee agreed to invest £75,000 of the PBIP into the Sir Georges Park, Thurso infrastructure project.

In doing so they reversed their decision taken in August 2021 to invest £60,000 of the Council’s own Place Based Funds into the project.

The committee also agreed £89,000 of the Caithness PBIP allocation will go to the Whitechapel Road, Wick, Public Convenience refurbishment project to support the regeneration of the town centre.

They also approved for £14,123 to be invested into the redesign of the bus stance at Riverside, Wick.

This area has been subject to vandalism and anti-social behaviour and has had an adverse effect on the riverside area.

A number of projects have sought to improve the amenity of the area and the safety and security of the area.

The bus stance area sits within the boundary of the town’s centre’s newly redeveloped main car park.

CCTV installation is planned for the project area to protect the project investment and will link with the town’s upgraded CCTV system.

Chair of the Committee, Cllr Raymond Bremner said:

“Town centre revitalisation is a key objective of the PBIP and all three of these projects can play a big part in making improvements for not just local residents but also the many visitors to our area.

“The criteria is set and the money is ring-fenced to be spent in a specific way.

“There is a tight timescale to see work completed so I look forward to seeing progress being made now we have allocated the funding.”

The next item on the agenda was to discuss the reallocation of The Highland Council Place Based Investment/Covid Funds which is a separate funding stream from PBIP.

Members agreed to reallocate the £60,000 Ward 2 Highland Council Place Based Funds previously allocated to the Sir Georges Park Project and to reallocate the £15,000 covid funds previously allocated to the Sir Georges Park Project;

The £60,000 remaining Place Based Funds from Ward 2 will be redistributed as follows:

Create a £20,000 grant fund to develop active travel related community projects;

£30,000 to previously agreed projects highlighted in the Thurso Active Travel Plan with agreed match funding from the Active Travel Capital budget;

£10,000 to investigate the creation of a community amenities equipment scheme.

They also agreed to allocate the remaining £15,385 Ward 2 and £6,246 Ward 3 Covid Investment Funds to two grant funds to address the 4 harms of covid

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