Highland shares in extra £1m funding assistance for harbour repairs (08/02/13)

The Highland Council has welcomed news that it is to receive up to £150,000 worth of assistance from the Scottish Government  towards the costs of repairing two East Ross harbours, which were badly damaged in the storms of 14/15 December last year.

The Council is to receive £100,000 towards the £835,000 estimated cost of repairs to Balintore Harbour, which was the worst affected of the Council harbours, and £50,000 towards the £450,000 repair bill at Portmahomack Harbour.

Work has already begun at both harbours.  Bam Ritchies have the contract to repair Balintore Harbour.  JJ Vass has the contract for the first phase of stabilising Portmahomack Harbour. Rebuilding the wave wall will follow in phase two.

Leader of The Highland Council Councillor Drew Hendry said: "Yesterday we had constructive talks with Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead in Inverness who was very receptive and understanding of the issues involved in the Highland storm damage. We discussed a range of impacts caused by the storm and are pleased to hear the Scottish Government announcement today which will provide immediate initial help to the Highlands. We are committed to working in tandem with the Scottish Government on how we might progress the next steps to rebuilding our local infrastructure."

Councillor Graham Phillips, Chair, Transport Environmental and Community Services Committee, said: “This assistance from the Scottish Government is very welcome.   We have made a prompt response in repairing the damage to our harbours and piers. This recognises the important role that our habours play in local communities.”

The storms, which were caused by an unusual combination of south easterly gales, low pressures and high tides, were described as the worst in decades and caused damage across Scotland.

The total repair bill at Council harbours is estimated at £2.555 million.  A total of 24 Highland locations were affected including: Scrabster – East Gills; John O’Groats Harbour; Freswick Harbour; Ackergill Harbour; Keiss Harbour; Staxigoe Harbour; Victoria Street, Wick; Scalesburn, Wick; Service Bridge, Wick; Latheron Harbour; Dunbeath Harbour; Helmsdale Harbour; Brora Harbour; Golspie; Embo Harbour; Portmahomack and its harbour; Hilton; Balintore and its harbour; Shandwick; Rockfield; Rosemarkie; and Nairn.

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