A local fishing boat which was aground on part of a wreck in Kirkwall Bay this morning was able to get back underway, having been assisted by the pilot boat John Rae.
Shetland Coastguard said that they were alerted that the Ailsa Jane, with two people on board, was aground on the wreck of the Busy Bee, just off Hatston.
Kirkwall Lifeboat crew were alerted, however the Ailsa Jane got clear of the wreck soon after.
The boiler from the Busy Bee can quite often be seen at low tide off Crowness Point.
Members of the public will be able to tour the new Kirkwall Grammar School and Papdale Halls of Residence this weekend.
The new KGS will be open from 11am to 3pm this coming Saturday and Sunday. Visitors will be able to follow a marked route through the school, including the new Orkney Theatre, with guidance from pupil and teacher volunteers stationed along the way.
Papdale Halls of Residence will be open on Saturday only, from 11am to 3pm, for guided tours, taking in a sample of each of the bedrooms and the common rooms and other shared and social spaces.
Refreshments will be available at KGS for £1.50 for adults, and free for children, with proceeds going to the School fund. There will also be a raffle, and the chance to buy the new KGS Calendar, produced by the KGS Young Enterprise Group.
On Sunday, visitors will also be able to hear first-hand the acoustics in the new Orkney Theatre as the Kirkwall Amateur Operatic Society carry out music workshops in preparation for the musical CATS, scheduled to be performed in the new Orkney Theatre in February.
Visitors will be able to park in the new KGS car park, which will be signposted, and in the bus bays. The old KGS car park will also be available for overflow parking if required. More news about the open days and photos of the new school are available on the Kirkwall Grammar School Facebook page and on www.kgsorkney.com.
William Bradley, 19, from Westray has been named Apprentice of the Year and awarded the James Birnie Award for Craft Excellence at the 2013 SBATC Apprenticeship Awards.
William received the award at a special ceremony at the Scottish Parliament earlier this week. The coveted title is awarded annually to Scotland’s best traditional craft apprentices undertaking a four-year SVQ Level 3 programme.
William, who is studying brickwork at Orkney College, moved from his home island of Westray to Kirkwall in 2011 to secure an apprenticeship.
Since then, he has been described as the “perfect apprentice” by former employer R.S. Rendall Building Contractors. William recently moved back to Westray to begin working for Daniel Harcus Construction, a building company based on the island.
Orkney Islands Council is due to receive a funding package of £67.7 million from the Scottish Government for the next financial year.
The “settlement” for local government in Scotland was announced today by the cabinet secretary for finance, John Swinney.
The funding for the OIC is £291,000 more than had been anticipated. However, £222,000 of this will help cover the additional cost of extra nursery and pre-school provision. The Scottish Government is introducing legislation which will increase the entitlement for three and four year old children from 475 to 600 hours each year.
Councillors have been involved in detailed discussions with the OIC’s senior management team as part of the budget-setting process. The budget for 2014-15 will be set at a meeting of the full council in February.
Chief Executive Alistair Buchan said: “The financial climate remains extremely challenging. But our budget process is rigorous and for months now we have been planning ahead to ensure the Council is well prepared for the year before us.
“Providing we continue to stay on top of our budget – and we continue to plan and manage effectively – I am confident that Orkney will come through this recession strongly.”
The ongoing archaeological excavations at the Links of Noltland, in Westray, have been nominated for the prestigious “Best Rescue Dig” award in the annual Current Archaeology awards.
The Links of Noltland, home to the “Westray Wife” figurine, is the only Scottish candidate this year.
The site is at severe risk from erosion and recent work, funded by Historic Scotland, has made it possible to recover a wealth of new information about life in the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods.
For more information about the Links of Noltland, and to vote for the site, click here.
A proposal to make changes to the use and look of a listed building in Kirkwall town centre has been given the go ahead.
Earlier this month, a planning application for the work, which includes some alteration to the “historic fabric” of Custom House, in Albert Street, was submitted to the Orkney Islands Council and approved.
Today, the OIC planning committee heard a report relating to the application for listed building consent, which councillors also approved.
Also at today’s meeting, permission was granted for the creation of a new dental clinic in Kirkwall’s Broad Street.
A current vacant workshop at 11 Broad Street is to be altered to accommodate the new practice.
Councillors also gave the thumbs up to retain a lorry park at Rothiesholm in Stromness and approved an application to convert and extend a domestic outbuilding adjacent to Ness House, on Pier Road, Longhope.
Orkney’s head of operations at Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has been appointed as the agency’s new area manager for the islands, and is taking up the role in the new year.
Graeme Harrison, who lives in Kirkwall, first experienced Orkney life in 1984 when he came to the islands while working for the Royal Bank of Scotland.
He has been with HIE since 1992 and said he is delighted to be taking on the top job from Ken Grant, who is moving into a specialised Oil and Gas role within the agency.
Alex Paterson, HIE chief executive, said: “Orkney is one of our most diverse and successful local economies in the Highlands and Islands, notable for longstanding achievements in culture, creative industries, tourism and food and drink, and more recently for powering ahead as a true world leader in marine energy.
“In Graeme, we have appointed an area manager who fully understands the entire range of opportunities and challenges currently facing the islands, and is committed to helping build a positive future for Orkney.
“He and his team are already doing a great job, and will play a central role in moving economic and community growth in Orkney to the next level.”
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