The NDA has pledged up to £250,000 for the first project in the Harbour’s planned upgrade, aimed at attracting business from the proposed offshore wind developments in the Moray Firth. Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is also providing up to £200,000.
The money is earmarked for the installation of heavy lift facilities at the port’s commercial quay and the dredging of the entry channel to the quay. The Harbour Authority has also been successful in attracting private funding for this phase of work.Wick Harbour Authority Chairman Willie Watt welcomed the funding boost to WHA’s plans:
“We are extremely happy with the support received from HIE and the NDA on these two vitally important projects. Since 2005 the Board at Wick Harbour have consistently worked towards achieving commercial sustainability for the Harbour in the long term. The support and confidence that HIE and NDA have shown is testament to the long term vision we have planned.
“Our stepping stone approach has created new opportunities and confidence around the port and we look forward to developing the Harbour in response to the potential that will come from the two major offshore wind projects just off our shores. The number of jobs that could be realised will be in excess of 300 and this is just one part of our portfolio that will bring new opportunities to Caithness and North Sutherland.”
Dounreay’s Change Director Alastair MacDonald has been working with the team at Wick Harbour to support the development of a business plan for potential future investment in the port.
Anna MacConnell, the NDA’s Stakeholder and Socio-economic Manager, said: “Wick Harbour Authority is an example of community-led economic development at its best. The role of the public sector, to support and encourage sustainable economic growth, is made so much easier when working with a Board as adaptable and innovative as Wick Harbour Authority. The NDA is pleased to continue our long association with Wick Harbour Authority.”