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Latest News

Scottish Government Announces £2.2 Million to Cut Costs for Offshore Wind
A project to cut the cost of offshore wind by at least 10% is being awarded £2.2 million by the Scottish Government, First Minister Alex Salmond has announced.   The Carbon Trust's Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) programme, a joint industry and government scheme, brings together nine offshore wind developers with over 72% (31GW) of the UK's licensed capacity.  
Personal Current Accounts and Small Business Banking Not Working Well for Customers
* CMA consulting on provisional decision to launch an in-depth investigation.   Essential parts of the UK retail banking sector lack effective competition and do not meet the needs of personal consumers or small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), two studies by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), published today, have found.  
Cities and Local Authorities Can Plug Britain's Energy Investment Gap
Cities and local authorities can provide an alternative to the big six and create a cleaner, smarter, more competitive and affordable energy system, according to a new report from the think tank IPPR.  The report urges Britain's cities to get even more active in energy markets and for the pioneers to go further.  
Carbon Trust Comment on UK Government Launch of £20 Million Electricity Demand Reduction Pilot
Paul McKinney, EDR Project Director at the Carbon Trust, said:"Reducing peak time electricity demand is an absolutely critical part of delivering a secure, low carbon energy system at the lowest cost, helping to keep the lights on in the UK.  And improving energy efficiency frequently comes with a rock-solid business case, so the decision to invest in it seems like it should be a no-brainer.  
Deloitte Consumer Tracker: Confidence Gathers Pace Across the UK
* Consumer confidence continues to improve and is now four points higher than a year ago; * The North of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland see a six percentage point rise in confidence concerning household disposable income in Q2 vs Q1; * Overall, confidence about disposable income increases by 11 points year-on-year; * Confidence over level of debt falls two points since last quarter.   * The North of England*, Scotland and Northern Ireland saw a sharp rise in consumer confidence in Q2 2014, according to the latest Deloitte Consumer Tracker.  
Combination of Factors Sees Drop in Deals and Drilling in North Sea
Oil and gas firms may be adopting a "wait and see" approach before making further investment decisions in the North Sea, according to a new report from Deloitte.   The report, which details drilling, licensing and deal activity across North West Europe over the second quarter of 2014 and was compiled by Deloitte's Petroleum Services Group (PSG), found a total of seven exploration and appraisal (E&A) wells were drilled on the UKCS.  
Scotch Whisky Is Popular Export to the Commonwealth
Almost a fifth (19%) of exports of Scotland's national drink goes to Commonwealth countries.  Last year exports to the Commonwealth were up 1% on 2012 to £793 million, out of a global total of £4.3 billion.  
Scottish pensions complex, uncosted and uncertain after separation
The Scottish Affairs Committee publishes its report on the Referendum on Separation for Scotland: Implications for Pensions and Benefits.   A report published by the Scottish Affairs Committee says the Scottish Government's failure to properly cost its plans for both public and private pensions will leave Scots with uncertainty in an area where most value security.  
Pace of Lending Growth Slowed in June, Says CML
The Council of Mortgage Lenders estimates that gross mortgage lending reached £17.5 billion in June.  This is 4% higher than May (£16.8 billion), 17% higher than June last year (£14.9 billion) and the highest monthly figure since October last year (£17.6 billion).  
Scottish Cabinet Meeting 14th July 2014 at WickThumbnail for article : Scottish Cabinet Meeting 14th July 2014 at Wick
The Scottish Cabinet are meeting in Wick as part of a series of public question and answer sessions.  Members of the public had the opportunity to ask questions of Ministers about 'Scotland's Future'..  
John Swinney Officially Opens New PSS Wick Facility Set To Create 40 JobsThumbnail for article : John Swinney Officially Opens New PSS Wick Facility Set To Create 40 Jobs
Aberdeen-based Process Safety Solutions, the systems life-cycle management specialist supporting the oil and gas sector in the UK and overseas, officially opened its new Wick facility on 15th July 2014 at Wick Business Park in Caithness.  The team welcomed John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth.  
Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
Week Commencing 14th July 2014 Energy & Business services: We welcomed a new business to the area this week, with Aberdeen-based Process Safety Solutions (PSS) opening a new base at the HIE-owned Wick Business Park.  The opening was carried out by John Swinney MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth whilst the Scottish Cabinet was in Wick this week.  
[Marine Services]19/7/2014
Nicola Sturgeon At Wick HarbourThumbnail for article : Nicola Sturgeon At Wick Harbour
The Scottish cabinet was in Wick on monday 14th July 2014..  
Global buyers to sample Highlands and Islands food and drinkThumbnail for article : Global buyers to sample Highlands and Islands food and drink
Twenty-one food and drink businesses from the Highlands and Islands will attend an unprecedented ‘meet the buyer' event ahead of the Commonwealth Games.   The Showcasing Scotland event is the first large scale event of its type to be run for the Scottish food and drink industry.  
A team of engineers from Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution (SHEPD) has completed work to replace a section of overhead line with underground cable at Thurso East, where the Caithness County Show is due to be held this weekend.   The move follows a request by the Show's Committee to SHEPD to make access to the site easier.  
[Local Authority]18/7/2014
We need a public debate about Policing By Consent in Scotland
From councillor Deirdre Mackay, Highland Council ‘This is Brora not Beverley Hills and it's a classic example of what we are now seeing at family events across Highland.  ‘Since I first raised this issue in June the responses from Police Scotland become ever stranger.  
Island airports deliver passenger growth for HIALThumbnail for article : Island airports deliver passenger growth for HIAL
Passenger numbers at HIAL's regional airports grew by almost 8000 during the last quarter, with the group's island airports driving growth.   Latest figures for the last quarter (April - June) show that passenger numbers at HIAL’s 11 airports grew by 7806, an increase of 2.2% on the same quarter last year.  
Dingwall & Highland Marts Ltd - Sale 15 July 2014
DINGWALL, Dingwall & Highland Marts Ltd., (July, 15th) sold 57 prime cattle.  Prime bullocks (38) averaged 202.1p (+2.8p) and sold to 219p per kg and £1,489.20 gross.  
Dingwall & Highland Marts Ltd - Sale Sale 16 July 2014
DINGWALL, Dingwall & Highland Marts Ltd, (July, 16th) sold 1,261 store cattle and 18 adult head of breeding cattle at their 11th anniversary show and sale.  The Judge, Mr D.  
Ross-shire, Orkney and Sutherland join the fibre broadband roll-out
Residents and businesses in areas of Ross-shire, Orkney and Sutherland are to join the growing number of people able to access fibre broadband in the Highlands and Islands as part of a publicly funded project.   Roll-out started in Buckie in Moray in February and 14,500 premises in Moray and Highland can now get better connected through the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband project.