Pulteneytown People's Project (PPP) is hoping to start work in July on a £4 million ground breaking community facility for Wick, if the final funding pieces fall into place.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has confirmed £400,000 for the project which will provide a one stop purpose built facility to meet the needs of the community. Its creation will offer a place to deliver local learning, youth services, childcare and it will create office space. It will also have an internet café, and will be used as a venue for a wide range of social activities.
Charles Findlay of HIE, has been working with the enterprise in conjunction with its plans and long term growth aspirations.
“This is an excellent example of a community identifying what it needs and working to achieve something which will be used by businesses, community groups and individuals from across Caithness. There are both social and economic benefits, with the various activities generating important revenue to support its own programmes. Pulteneytown is a key regeneration area and this kind of development will benefit the wider community,” he said.
Last year the project was awarded £1 million from the Big Lottery Fund. As well as local fundraising it has also attracted money from the private and public sectors and the European Regional Development Fund. If the final parts of the financial jigsaw can be pulled together it is hoped the facility could open next year.
PPP provides a broad range of community support services that reaches over 500 people per week. It currently operates from five adapted council houses in the local area, and from Wick High School and South Primary.
Katrina MacNab is the CEO of Pulteneytown People's Project, and commented: “The new centre will make a difference to local people's lives – how we work together, how we support each other and social activities available. Bringing all our services together allows us to expand what we do and the centre itself will bring new opportunities and an improved quality of life for those who use it.”
Notes to Editor
PPP and its associated works employs 19 people and is supported by a pool of around 30 volunteers. Membership of PPP is open to all who live and work in the community of Wick and East Caithness.
HIE's role is to develop sustainable economic growth across the region. To achieve this it creates infrastructure for future investment, assists large and small businesses with growth aspirations and has a unique role strengthening communities, particularly in fragile areas.
HIE supports the growth ambitions of business and social enterprise clients by creating close working relationships in order to accelerate growth in turnover, profitability, wage levels, exports and therefore Gross Value Added (GVA) in the HIE area.
HIE also invests in transformational projects across the region to make the Highlands and Islands a more competitive and attractive place to live, work, study and grow.
The region covered by HIE takes in more than half of Scotland, and is home to around 440,000 people. See www.hie.co.uk for more information.