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Town centre funding to improve Caithness CCTV

By Jean Gunn

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Councillor Nicola Sinclair Picture: DGS
Councillor Nicola Sinclair Picture: DGS

Chair of the Caithness area committee Nicola Sinclair has welcomed an investment in the CCTV infrastructure for both Wick and Thurso town centres.

Members of the committee agreed yesterday (Friday) to use town centre funding to enhance the local surveillance system – £16,100 will be used to digitalise the existing ageing analogue public space CCTV in Wick and connect the new system into the council’s monitoring office with £25,625 to do the same for Thurso.

"I’m delighted to see the proposals for enhanced CCTV go ahead," said councillor Sinclair. "The second tranche of town centre fund money is relatively small, so it was important we found projects of an appropriate scale that could be delivered quickly.

"CCTV has an important role in public safety, but it also protects our other investments in the town centre environment by discouraging vandalism. In the various public consultations undertaken recently and in community council meetings, improved CCTV is a common request from the community, so I’m pleased we’re now in a position to take this forward.

"The regeneration of both Wick and Thurso town centres is a huge project and has faced new challenges with Covid but we are making progress.”

In September last year the Scottish Government announced extra funding through the Town Centre Fund as part of its national economic recovery stimulus package, particularly aimed at supporting construction activity across Scotland. The Highland Council has received an additional £1,066,000, providing an extra £56,104 for investing into Thurso and Wick.

At the meeting on Friday members also agreed a variance to the 2019/20 Town Centre Funded public realm project being delivered by Thurso Community Development Trust. The remaining £2379 of the 2020/21 TCF area allocation will be awarded to the trust for this project.

The wayfinding element is now on hold and in its place the trust will now deliver their market stall initiative at a cost of £8763. Members also agreed to invest £8616 on the refurbishment of the precinct clock.

All Town Centre Fund money needs to be committed by March this year and projects completed by September 2021.

Last month the committee approved £12,000 of this money to go towards additional works to complete a key site redevelopment project at 126 High Street, Wick so the Highland Housing Alliance (HHA) who acquired the derelict property with land can complete the demolition of the property before transferred the land to the Wick Development Trust for redevelopment.

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