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£100,000 Highland Council boost for Easter Ross community groups and projects


By Philip Murray

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General news.
General news.

COASTAL funding worth almost £100,000 is set to wing its way to communities in Easter Ross – helping boost everything from the hoped for revival of a defunct railway station, to a rugby club's clubhouse plans.

Highland Council's Easter Ross Area Committee members today approved the funding through the Highland Coastal Communities Fund (HCCF).

A total of six applications were received and five of those projects were approved by councillors at today’s committee meeting.

Ross Sutherland Rugby Football Club's original application for £33,058 was approved with no conditions attached, and councillors agreed to advise the Invergordon club they could potentially apply to the strategic pot for the balance of £28,079.

The funds will go towards phase two of the clubhouse development project and the creation of a new viewing balcony.

HITRANS applied for a £5000 grant to pay for a feasibility study into the reopening of Evanton train station, a project it has been working on for eight years.

Councillors were happy to approve the grant, with chairwoman Cllr Fiona Robertson, describing the study as a crucial step on the road to the creation of new transport links for Evanton.

She said: “This is a very strong project and I am really pleased we can help move it along.”

Seaboard Memorial Hall Ltd applied for £23,980 towards the renovation of the toilet block at the Seaboard Memorial Hall in Balintore, which was approved. The work would provide disabled access, a baby changing area and a re-design of the lay out.

Cllr Robertson said: “Seaboard Memorial Hall Ltd are very professional in everything that they do and they are great at raising funds, so I am not surprised with the strength of this application. Theirs was a very comprehensive application and this work will be of benefit to those who use the harbour and visitors.”

The Tain Picture House project also benefited from £26,073 of HCCF funding. Their plan to install a platform lift is seen a part of a much wider development taking place there.

Inver and District Community Council applied and received £4000 for seating at Inver Bay. The money will be used to replace five benches along a coastal path. Previous benches were badly damaged. The new benches are made from recycled plastic, which are very robust and with being plastic they will be resistant to the salt air. The minimum HCCF grant amount is £5000, but councillors agreed to provide the slightly lower amount of £4000.

The Easter Ross Area Committee has £108,107.84 of funding available and used £92,111 today.

Saltburn and Westwood Community Council’s application for £12,830 for coastal defences was not approved but members agreed to ring-fence funding so the project could submit a future application after they have done some more development work.

Related news: Port of Cromarty Firth announces further £10,000 sponsorship of Ross Sutherland Rugby Club


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