£200,000 funding for Highland Hospice refurbishment
Members of The Highlands Council’s Resources Committee have pledged their support to The Highland Hospice’s full refurbishment of Ness House and the new Netley Centre in Inverness by agreeing to contribute £200,000 of funding towards the total project cost of £6.500m.
The money comes from the Council’s Capital Discretionary Fund for 2014/15 and at yesterday’s committee (Wednesday 27 August 2014) members also agreed a further £285K of funding from this Fund to support four more projects.
Kinlochshiel Shinty Club has been awarded £45,000 towards the development of a new playing field at Balmacara with associated facilities. The Club currently plays in the National Premier League, Division 2 and has a strong commitment to youth development through the Kinlochiel Junior Shinty Club.
Funding of up to £40,000 will go to Ross and Cromarty Citizen’s Advice Bureau to help them re-furbish the former Social Work property Suie House in Alness for their new offices. The CAB are confident that the larger premises in a new central location will allow for more volunteers to work in the building and enable a better, more efficient service to be provided to a greater number of vulnerable people. It also frees up their current site on Novar Road in Alness which the Council plans to convert into four 1 bedroomed self-contained flats for affordable rent.
£50,000 has been granted to upgrading facilities at Poolewe and District Swimming Pool which is owned and managed by a community company. Popular and well used throughout the year by both locals and visitors to the area, the pool is in need of refurbishment so the £50,000 from The Highland Council will help towards the cost of carrying out essential upgrading works which will extend the life of the facility for a further 20 years.
Finally, a contribution of £150,000 will go towards a funding package that will enable the development of a hub for the Highland Science Skills Academy at UHI’s Inverness Campus Partnership Facility – a new joint building with HIE. The aim of the new Science Skills Academy is to connect the education system n the Highlands and Islands with the workd of work and the facility will act as a focal point for all education to work related initiatives. The £150,000 forms part of an important element of the overall funding package for the Academy which has already attracted £553,000 from the UHI through the European Regional Development Fund and will ensure that match fuunding from additional sources will be able to be drawn down. Earlier this year the Council approved £20K towards meeting the costs of employing a person to take forward an action plan to progress the project.
Chair of the Resources Committee, Councillor Maxine Smith said: “Our current Capital Plan makes provision for additional funding to the Capital Discretionary Fund of £0.5m per year which is used to match fund community projects and support projects that clearly deliver community benefits or financial savings. Both the leisure improvement projects in Poolewe and Balmacara will help empower their local communities and encourage more people to participate while the Ross-shire CAB and Hospice refurbishment projects will see the creation of new facilities that reflect the excellent advice and care that both groups provide to people that need it the most. I am especially excited about seeing the new Science Skills Academy open as it will play a key role in promoting careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to our young people and helping them access the best of education and training opportunities.”