20th September 2019

A YOUTH club and a broch-building project are among seven community initiatives to benefit from more than £80,000 in the Caithness and North Sutherland Fund’s latest grant awards.

Fund chairman David Glass said: “Our latest funding includes improvements to youth activities, community and recreational facilities as well as progressing an ambitious project to establish a major visitor attraction in Caithness.

“We are pleased to have received a good level of applications and we continue to encourage community groups to come forward with proposals that will enhance the Caithness and north Sutherland area.”

Caithness Broch Project was granted £14,815 to appoint specialist architect and consultancy services to produce a replica broch development brief. The report will establish a preferred site for the replica broch construction, an architectural design concept and a business case that will allow progress towards the construction phase of a replica drystone broch tower to serve as a visitor attraction.

Broch project chairman Robin Herrick said: “The importance of this stage of the project cannot be overstated as it will underpin the work of our community organisation to replicate an Iron Age broch as the core of a financially sustainable charitable business which will benefit the community as a tourist attraction and an inspirational symbol of Caithness heritage. We are very happy that we were able to convey our enthusiasm for this work, and the potential benefit to the community.”

Other awards included £30,000 to Thurso Youth Club towards delivering a two-year development programme of weekly youth club sessions and activities. The project will have a focus on enhancing the club’s long-term sustainability and will create two new staff posts – a community officer who will be responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the club and a senior youth worker to coordinate youth sessions and activities.

Latheron Hall Committee was awarded £18,340 towards the costs of refurbishing the hall car park by extending the existing parking area and resurfacing with a tarmac surface. The hall car park is also used by the wider community because of its location near the Thurso and Wick main route junction.

The Armadale clay-pigeon club was awarded £8,100 to install a semi-permanent shooting shelter at its shooting range. The shelter construction will provide welcome cover for competitors and is part of a range of improvements being carried out by the club following its recent Scottish Clay Target Association accreditation.

Castletown School Parent Council was granted £5000 towards costs of installing a new multi-level timber trail within the primary school playing field grounds. The trail will include a range of innovative trail obstacles as well as safety matting and will provide stimulating outdoor play facilities.

Portskerra Harbours Association was awarded £3048 to install steel galvanised safety handrails, pier wall ladders and safety and information signs for the Portskerra community slipway.

Olrig and District Beekeepers Association was granted £1000 to purchase new beekeeper microscopes and specialist equipment that will assist beekeepers to identify pollen and bee diseases as well as learn about alternative uses of beekeeping. The new equipment will also enhance the group’s presentations to further promote the importance of beekeeping as well as increase the capacity and diversification of hobby beekeepers.

The CNSFund is funded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and distributes money to community projects that increase the attractiveness of Caithness and north Sutherland as a place to live, work and invest. Applications are assessed on a quarterly basis and information on how to apply can be found at the CNSFund website or by phoning 07841 204 982. The deadline for applications for the next funding round is September 27.

Source – John O’Groat Journal

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