View Full Version : Council's multi-million-pound commitment

07-Mar-13, 14:26
A £242 million boost for roads, schools harbours and offices

HIGHLAND COUNCIL has reinforced its commitment to the Highland economy by budgeting to spend £242 million over the next three financial years on key building projects, such as schools and roads and improvements to offices and harbours.
Leader Drew Hendry described the ambitious capital programme as a huge boost for the Highlands, providing much-needed construction work at a challenging time for the industry.
The Council has a capital budget of £73.926 million in 2013/14, £87.742 million in 2014/15 and £80.76 million in 2015/16. This is on top of a revenue spending of £548 million in 2013/14 and a further spending of £43 million on building new council houses, council house improvements and repairs and maintenance.
He highlighted the Council’s spending plans today (Thursday) at a meeting of the full council when a programme of capital projects to be funded from an additional allocation of capital grant from the Scottish Government was agreed.
Councillor Hendry said: “Despite real pressures on public spending, I am delighted that we are able provide such a significant programme of spending on building projects over the coming three years. This is great news for the construction industry and will help the economies of many of our Highland communities. ”
8 projects will benefit from the additional spending allocation from the Scottish Government as they are “shovel ready” and can be delivered by April 2014.
At Inverness, an allocation of £700,000 will help fund 24 starter business units on Council-owned services sites in Harbour Road and the Carse Industrial Estate. Funding will allow the units to be offered at low initial rents to new and young businesses seeking to grow.
At Fort William, £540,000 is allocated to the redevelopment of Cameron Square in Fort William’s High Street to provide a new events venue which will help local businesses to thrive. It is hoped work can start on the project this summer.
On the A 890 Stromeferry Bypass between Attadale and Ardnaff, £150,000 is earmarked for slope stabilisation works to reduce the risk of rock falls.
£600,000 is set aside for the purchase and installation of two additional biomass boilers to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions on two school sites, yet to be identified.
An allocation of £500,000 will assist the funding of house building at Woodside, Inverness (11 houses) and Bridgend, Alness (8 flats).
Projects involving flood alleviation, drainage, surfacing and street lighting have attracted a contribution of £450,000.
£70,000 will be available to improve playpark provision across the Highlands and £45,000 is earmarked to improve safety and disabled access on paths.
£64,000 is uncommitted as a contingency sum against cost variations in the projects.