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Watten Improvements Group

16 March 2018

Watten Improvements Group was formed in 2012 to improve recreational facilities for the community. The group has successfully carried out a number of projects including; the installation of a new playpark, improved lighting allowing children to play in the early evening during the winter months, Hogmanay parties and Halloween discos. The group is well supported and many of the projects offers locals the opportunities to try new activities or attend social events where they can catch up with friends and neighbours.

The village of Watten is home to around 700 people and is situated on the banks of Loch Watten between the Wick and Thurso.

The village had hosted an annual Hogmanay Family Ceilidh, however attendance kept falling to such a point it was no longer viable to run. In 2014, The Watten Improvements Group agreed to organise the event, injecting a new lease of life and ensuring its future.

This move has proved to be successful with around 150 people from the village attending. The event allows villagers to attend a local Hogmanay party and meet with friends and neighbours rather than have to travel to Wick or Thurso to attend the Hogmanay Street Parties there. For those in the village who are isolated and unable to travel, this event makes a massive difference to them.

The group were given an award of £1,100 from the E.ON Camster Community Fund over a three year period. The award has enabled the party organisers to book their favourite band ‘Fusion’ for Hogmanay 2017, 2018 and 2019. Watten Improvements Group have used a few different bands , however, ‘Fusion’ is the most popular, with the community expressing a desire to continue booking this band, rather than a more traditional ceilidh band.

Watten Improvements Group Secretary Valerie Mackenzie said: “It’s a fun event from start to finish, bringing young and old together. ‘Fusion’ provided the music at our 2017 party, along with lots of fun and games ensuring everyone stayed on the dance floor. We also had a photo booth where you use a cardboard frame and lots of props to create your own hilarious photo with your friends”

“The E.ON Camster Community Fund grant has enabled us to organise and run a fantastic party in our village bringing our community together.”

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