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May 16, 2012

Under one roof

For many years, the town of Wick has been known as one of the most disadvantaged areas in the Highlands. Undaunted, eight years ago a group of local people set about developing a whole raft of new services and facilities for childcare, youth work, employability training and sports. As the range of their programme has flourished, the Pulteneytown People’s Project has had to beg, borrow and steal space around the town to accommodate what they do. Those days are over.


After six years of preparation, the Pulteneytown People’s Project (PPP) has opened a new £3.9million Community and Regeneration Centre in Pulteneytown, Wick.

PPP was established in 2004 to help address ongoing social and economic problems in Wick, one of the most deprived areas in the Highlands, by providing services such as childcare, training, youth projects and sporting facilities.

Where previously these services had been delivered across a number of different schools and council houses, the new Centre allows the charity to bring all of these services together within one state of the art facility.

The Centre houses a multi-purpose hall with sports facilities, which doubles up as a venue for 120 with seating for theatre productions, conferences and youth discos. A community café offers a ‘hub’ for the community, with soft play area, a youth cafe running in the evening and a training kitchen for aspiring chefs. ‘Drop In’ crèche facilities provide ad-hoc childcare for offshore workers, shift workers, or occasional childcare needs, so parents can attend classes, groups or personal appointments. The Centre also provides classroom and training facilities, an artist studio, a dance and hobbies room, band practice space and office accommodation for small local businesses.

Since setting up, PPP has made a huge difference to the surrounding community, generating more than £1million to benefit local people through the provision of its services. Construction of the £3.9M Centre has been part funded through a £500,000 investment from the Scottish Investment Fund through Social Investment Scotland, Scotland’s leading alternative funder to the third sector.

Chairman of the PPP, Grant Ramsay, said: “The organisation brings the entire community together, working with everyone from soon-to-be-mums, children, teenagers and older citizens.  It provides services and amenities for locals to improve their opportunities, potential and life skills and has secured millions of pounds in funding with a view to creating a vibrant community with skilled, employed people who can realise their ambition.”

Alastair Davis, Chief executive of Social Investment Scotland, said: “Our goal as a funder of Scotland’s third sector is to support growth in our communities, and I am convinced that this new Centre will allow PPP to do just that. It’s an incredible facility that will not only improve the way that PPP can deliver its services to the Community, but will also provide a focal point for local people whose lives are being transformed by these services. We look forward to working with the team and helping them realise their ambitions for the Centre.”