Councillors have agreed to spend more than £40,000 upgrading ageing CCTV cameras in Wick and Thurso.
Members of Highland Council’s Caithness committee voted to use town centre funding to digitalise the analogue systems and connect them to the authority’s CCTV monitoring office.
A total of £16,100 will be used to upgrade the Wick town centre system and £25,625 for Thurso.
In September the Scottish Government announced extra funding through the Town Centre Fund as part of its national economic recovery stimulus package. Highland Council received an additional £1,066,000, providing an extra £56,104 for investing into Thurso and Wick.
The committee also agreed to award Thurso Community Development Trust £8,763 to help set up a seasonal outdoor market in the town. A further £8,616 will go towards the refurbishment of the precinct clock.
All Town Centre Fund money needs to be committed by March this year and projects completed by September 2021.
Committee chairman Nicola Sinclair said: “I’m delighted to see the proposals for enhanced CCTV go ahead. The second tranche of town centre fund money is relatively small, so it was important we found projects of an appropriate scale that could be delivered quickly.
“CCTV has an important role in public safety, but it also protects our other investments in the town centre environment by discouraging vandalism. In the various public consultations undertaken recently and in community council meetings, improved CCTV is a common request from the community, so I’m pleased we’re now in a position to take this forward.
“The regeneration of both Wick and Thurso town centres is a huge project and has faced new challenges with Covid but we are making progress.”
Last month the committee approved £12,000 of town centre money towards a key site regeneration project at 126 High Street, Wick.
It is one of two eyesore derelict buildings being demolished and the land transferred to the Wick Development Trust for redevelopment.