Caithness Courier headlines for February 20, 2013

owner of Thurso cinema is set to create up to 10 jobs with plans unveiled to open a new family restaurant and bar at the leisure haunt. Rob Arthur has agreed to lease the former Liquid Bar at Ormlie Road, alongside his cinema venue, and is going through the licence approval process. The news comes after the venue welcomed its 40,000 customer on Friday, after only seven months of trading, making it one of the big success stories of the Caithness economy in recent years.

s in place to repair and improve an 18th-century slipway at Thurso, which could prove to be financially lucrative to the far north economy. Caithness Sports Facilities Ltd has secured £76,330 to go ahead with the first phase of its plan to regenerate Thurso Harbour if given the green light. If its plans to repair the slipway are given planning permission, it is thought it would be the catalyst for the creation of a £650,000 harbour centre complex which could lead to Thurso becoming the watersports capital of the UK.

bid to encourage Highland councillors to speak Gaelic during meetings and when dealing with constituents, has elicited a low-key response in Caithness. With just five out of the 80 members of the local authority able to speak the language, their colleagues are being urged to take part in a new course aimed at instilling a knowledge of the basics.

woman behind a public consultation this week over controversial plans to install sculptures at two well-known Caithness sites, insisted it was not “a meaningless exercise.” Ann Hackett, Highland Council’s principal projects officer, was responding to claims from Dunnet-based artist Joanne Kaar that the event was “pointless” and “completely shambolic”. A drop-in exhibition session was held in the Britannia Hall in Dunnet on Monday.

wood chip boiler has been installed at a community heating project in Wick, as part o a £2.5 million investment by Ignis Biomass Ltd. That was confirmed yesterday by company director Craig Ibbetson, who said the 3.5 megawatt boiler is the first step in a bid to expand the scheme. He added the company is providing renewable energy to Pulteney Distilllery in addition to supplying the district heating network.

first Gaelic medium unit in Thurso is poised to be established if Highland Council can find a teacher to take the new class. Parents have been pressing or several years to have the opportunity for local primary pupils to be taught exclusively in the language and it has emerged their campaign could soon come to fruition.

man was delighted when he received a £30 voucher from Tesco after experiencing problems with his mobile phone. John Kennedy, who lives in Pennyland Drive, contacted the company on a number of occasions over a three-month period without success. He claimed he “might as well have spoken to the man in the moon” but now the retail giant has provided him with a voucher and agreed to take the phone back.

departure of two consultants at Caithness General Hospital, in Wick, will leave “a big gap” at the hospital but will not mean it faces an uncertain future. That was the view of former Highland councillor, David Flear who said locums are likely to be recruited until the posts can be filled on a permanent basis.