Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Paying too much for broadband? Move to PlusNet broadband and save£££s. Free setup now available - terms apply. PlusNet broadband.  


Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update

21st September 2013

Photograph of Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update

Energy/ Business Services:
The Scottish Renewables Marine Conference took place in Inverness this week. The events key announcement was the news of Scottish Government consent for Meygen Ltd to develop its proposed tidal stream site in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth. A demonstration array of up to 9MW will be the first phase of work, with up to 86MW by completion of the second phase. The news attracted major media coverage, and was widely welcomed as a milestone in the development of a commercial-scale tidal industry. See Communications below for some of the media reaction, including CNSRP welcome from Chairman Sir Anthony Cleaver.

Mondays Conference also heard news that Scottish Power Renewables will be using Alstom-owned tidal technology in its Sound of Islay demonstration array. Alstom bought Tidal Generation Ltd (TGL) from Rolls Royce earlier this year. The Sound of Islay array is expected to be the precursor to a larger Scottish Power Renewables development at the Ness of Duncansby at the eastern end of the Pentland Firth.

As part of Highland Business Week events under the banner of HIE Skills Register will take place next Friday, 27th September in Thurso (Caithness Horizons, 10am-1pm) and Wick (Pulteney Centre, 2pm-5pm). The event is hosted by Tuminds Ltd, Arise UK, Citizens Online and GetIT Together Sutherland and will focus on how registering for the HIE Skills Register can help support inward investment opportunities for the area. Members of these partner organisations will be on hand to offer advice and guide attendees through the registration process.

Tourism Food & Drink:
Hundreds of people turned out last Saturday in bright sunshine for the official opening of the Inn at John OGroats the latest phase of work at the Natural Retreats complex. The project, led by Natural Retreats and Heritage GB, was supported by HIE funding of 1.8M.

Lord Lieutenant Anne Dunnett cut the ribbon to open the new facility. The reaction from all of those who were able to look around the new apartments was extremely positive, and particular praise went to the quality of the building and its furnishings. It was also good to see the presence of a number of local food/ drink/ crafts businesses as part of the open day. Some photos of the interiors can be viewed at

Next week John OGroats will also be the venue for the launch of the World Host training initiative being led in the north by Caithness Chamber of Commerce. World Host is an international brand, and was used very successfully to improve the overall customer/ visitor experience for the London Olympics. It is hoped that businesses in the north can lead the way for Scotland. More info at and information on the Caithness/ North Sutherland initiative from skills[AT]

On the subject of customer satisfaction it is good to see the high quality offering at Forss House Hotel being recognised, as the business became one of the first in Scotland to be recognised under the new Taste Our Best quality assurance scheme being led by Scotland Food & Drink.

Enabling activities:
Marine Scotland will be holding a consultation event at North Highland College in Thurso next week, on Wednesday 25th September. Planning Scotlands Seas will feature a public drop-in session from 1pm-5pm, followed by a Marine Scotland presentation and Q&A session from 6pm-8pm. The event is part of a national consultation on the Draft national Marine Plan, on Marine Protected Areas, and on draft sectoral Plans (eg marine renewables). The consultation period ends on 13th November. More information at

As part of an ongoing process of helping communicate progress with the delivery of aspects of our economic transition programme CNSRP's partners work together to generate news stories for local, regional and national media. I also speak on a regular basis to individuals and organisations across the area to update on progress. This week:

The Partnerships Executive Board met this week in Thurso to discuss progress with the CNSRP 2011-14 Delivery Plan and to consider forward targets for 2014-17. Steve Barron was also welcomed to the Executive Board in his role as new Chief Executive of the Highland Council.

A local welcome for the news of Meygens consent to develop its tidal project in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth was carried in the Caithness Courier (not online) with CNSRPs welcome published at .

National coverage of the news by
The Guardian
Financial Times as well as numerous Trade Press.

I took part in a panel discussion at this weeks Marine Conference in Inverness. The session focused on Infrastructure and manufacturing. Key presentations came from Seonaid Vass from Scottish Enterprise and Paul Jordan from Ricardo UK. These and all other presentations from the event are available to view and download at

It was good to take part in an initial Twitter-based forum for local businesses this week. Caithness business hour involved several local businesses such as Northern Editorial, Lark & Lily Designs, Berry Good, EnergyHunt, Eye Candy and Hilltop Horses. It may hopefully provide a forum to discuss common issues. Searchable on Twitter under #caithnessbiz

Eann Sinclair
Programme Manager
Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership
Traill House, 7a Olrig Street, Thurso KW14 7BJ
Tel: 01847 896834
Mob: 07717 694055
Mail: eann.sinclair[AT]
Twitter: [AT]eanncnsrp

The Natural Retreats apartments at John O'Groats now open.


Related Businesses


Related Articles

Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership
Week commencing 25 September 2017 Tourism, Food and Drink: · Last weekend saw the staging of the annual "Taste North" event organised at Ackergill Tower by Venture North with support from a range of organisations including CNSRP partner the NDA.  Despite the less than ideal weather, the event attracted a record number of visitors (around 1,000), and a range of food, drink and tourism companies from across the north, and featured a range of activities and demonstrations, including masterclasses with renowned chef Nick Nairn.  
Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
Week commencing 11 September 2017 Energy & business services: The UK Government's department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) this week announced its latest round of awards through the "Contracts for Difference" mechanism, in which there was mixed news for area projects.  The Moray Offshore Windfarm (East) development consented for the Moray Firth - received an award, whilst the MeyGen tidal energy project did not.  
Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
Week Commencing 4 September 2017 Enabling Activities: As I highlighted last week CNSRP partners Highland Council and NDA have supported Scottish Government to carry out investigation work into the improvement of the A9 Trunk Road at Berriedale Braes, which aims to improve the notorious hairpin bend.  The notice, which outlines construction costs of approximately £9 million, invites prospective bidders to formally apply to participate in the procurement to construct major improvements to this important route.  
Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
Week Commencing 14th August 2017 Energy & business services: Caithness Chamber of Commerce this week ran an event sponsored by CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).  The main speaker was Bill Cattanach of the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA), with introductory presentations by myself and Sandy Mackie of Scrabster Harbour Trust.  
Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
Weeks commening 31st July and 7th August Energy & business services: As I highlighted recently, the company behind the proposed floating offshore windfarm demonstrator off the coast near Dounreay recently went into into administration.  Administrators French Duncan have opened a "data room" for potential buyers.  
Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
Week commencing 26 June 2017.   Energy & business services: I met Louise Smith of Caithness Renewables last week, and heard about her current role as an adviser to the "Resource Efficient Scotland" programme being run by Zero Waste Scotland on behalf of Scottish Government.  
Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
Update Week commencing 19 June 2017 Tourism Food & Drink: · CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) this week published a baseline report on the economic impact of the North Coast 500 route which covers the whole of the north mainland.  The report highlights the impact of the route's global profile, and suggests that 200 new jobs could be created as a result.  
Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
Week commencing 12th June 2017.   Energy & business services: The offshore construction phase of the Caithness- Moray programme to enhance the north's electricity distribution grid has reached a significant milestone with the laying of the first sections of the subsea cable across the Moray Firth.  
Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update Weeks commencing 3 April to 5 June 2017
Following the end of the two recent election periods, congratulations to all our new and returning Highland Councillors, and to our new MP.  This is a short message to update you on activities relating to the Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership (CNSRP) during the two election periods.  
Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership Update
Week 27 March 2017 Energy & business services: Following last week's news that it has received consent from Scottish Government for its proposed Dounreay Tri floating offshore wind project off the north Caithness coast, this week Hexicon has announced a €45 million funding boost which will allow it to begin construction on the project. The offshore construction phase of the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project also progresses, with the arrival off Caithness of the huge vessel Stanislav Yudin.  

[Printer Friendly Version]