Council’s cultural, education and sports stalwart for the North retires
Members of the Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee paid tribute today to the Area Education Manager for the North, Graham Nichols for his dedication and commitment to developing sporting and cultural opportunities and activities in the North Highlands for the last 19 years.
Graham arrived in Sutherland in March 1995 as Director of Amenities, Leisure and Recreation with Sutherland District Council. After local government reorganisation in 1996 he was appointed as Sutherland Culture and Leisure Services Manager, with a Highland-wide responsibility for Sports Development and Leisure Facilities.
During 1999 Graham was seconded to spend most of the year as Chief Executive of Caledonia Community Leisure Ltd before returning to the Council in the role of Culture and Leisure Services Manager for Caithness and Sutherland.
After restructuring of the service in 2003, he became the Caithness and Sutherland Community Learning and Leisure Manager, and in 2004 was appointed as the Education, Culture and Sport Manager for Caithness.
Further changes to the Service in 2007 saw Graham appointed as the Area Education Manager for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross until 2011 when his post became Area Education Manager - North.
Area Leader, Councillor Deirdre Mackay said: “Graham was the new Culture and Leisure Manager when I was first elected in 1999 in Wick so we go back a bit. His roles and job titles have changed over the years he has been with the council but what hasn’t changed is his dedication and hard work to create opportunities for young people, and make the services on offer to the North a priority. His skills, enthusiasm and wide knowledge will be greatly missed by us all, not to mention his cheery personality and sense of humour. I wish him all the best for the future.”
Graham, who lives with his family in Golspie is looking forward to new challenges. He said: I have thoroughly enjoyed my years with the Council, and believe that I have had an excellent working relationship with all Members, and have worked with excellent staff teams. As a result my job was made easier, and would like to think I have “made a difference”. The time is now right for me to step aside, and I would like to wish everyone in The Highland Council and the Care & Learning Service every success in overcoming the challenges ahead.”