Boost for Pulteneytown Advice Centre (18/02/13)

At today’s meeting of The Highland Council Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee members awarded Pulteneytown People’s Project, Wick,  £90,506 from the Deprived Area Fund which will be used to provide services to local people through the Advice Centre. 

This will be used to support the work of the one-stop shop to provide local people help and advice with benefits, staying on at school, re-training, housing issues and applying for jobs.  Plans also include running special activity days throughout the year, the setting up of a job club and creating a new support group for carers. The funding will also mean the Centre will be able to offer places on SVQ Level 3 courses in social care, administration and childcare.

Caithness Civic Leader Councillor Gail Ross said:  “Our decision today will give an important boost to everyone involved in the project. The opening of the new learning centre is a major achievement. The Council showed its confidence by providing capital funding to get the building open so I am delighted that this support is continuing now the centre is up and running. It has already become a vital resource to the local community and the funding approved today will allow it to provide and develop good quality services which will really help people in Wick.”

In April 2010 the Council established a Deprived Area Fund targeted at priority areas in Caithness, East Ross, Inverness and Lochaber. Applications are invited from community and third sector organisations to assist defined disadvantaged communities to develop and implement activities that improve the quality of life and regenerate their communities.  Priority is given to projects that directly deliver employability outcomes for individuals who live within the targeted area and who are furthest removed from the labour market.

Leader of the Caithness and Sutherland Committee, Councillor Deirdre Mackay highlighted the positive effect the Deprived Area Fund has on communities.  She said: “The Deprived Area Fund directly supports the Council’s Programme by assisting organisations working in defined disadvantaged communities to develop and implement activities aimed at improving quality of life and regenerating communities. The £90k for the Pultneytown Centre will have a really positive impact on people’s lives and there is potential for more people to benefit. The Caithness fund allocation is £104k so there is still £13,494 available so I would urge community organisations to make enquires.”

The funding is available until March 2014 and therefore only projects that can complete or are substantially committed before the end of March 2014 will be considered.

The areas eligible to apply to the Deprived Area Fund in Caithness are Wick South, Wick South Head, Wick Pulteneytown South and Wick Hillhead North. Full details of criteria and how to apply are available from The Highland Council’s website.

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