Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
1st November 2013
Energy/ Business Services:
Gordon Calder’s story in this week’s Caithness Courier carries good news for the area economy. Rolls Royce has confirmed its commitment to work in Caithness until 2030, providing a boost to the 300 strong workforce. http://www.johnogroat-journal.co.uk/News/Rolls-Royce-delivers-major-pledge-on-Caithness-jobs-29102013.htm
Local companies continue to attract recognition for work being done in the energy sector. Yesterday’s Energy North Awards 2103 dinner saw Scrabster Harbour Trust awarded Best Oil & Gas Supplier and Subsea 7’s Willie Watt voted Energy North Ambassador 2013. Congratulations to both the Trust and to Willie.
Tourism Food & Drink:
Last weekend’s Thurso Surf Festival, which was supported again by CNSRP partner Highland Council and main sponsor SSE, attracted well over 70 competitors from across the UK. Competitors felt that the Thurso East waves were “the best ever for a British surf contest”. http://www.ukprosurf.com/luis-eyre-wins-thurso-surf-festival-i8327.html Also taking place last weekend were the Scottish Ploughing Championships, which also benefited from dry, bright conditions. It has been estimated that the two events attracted a combined audience of over 2,000.
I met today with Ellie Lamont to discuss encouraging progress being made by Venture North, the grouping of area businesses dedicated to growing the value of the tourism sector. The business-led momentum being generated by the group reinforces the area’s ability to deliver high quality product ideas.
I met today with colleagues from Highlands & Islands Airports Ltd and Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd as we continue to look at ways of identifying and supporting future infrastructure requirements at Wick John O’Groats airport.
Also good to catch up today with Alex Barrett of Wick IT Services, and to talk through some of his very well-thought-out ideas on collective online visibility and marketing for micro businesses. Our conversation began via the local business forum of Twitter (#caithnessbiz) so it was good to make contact in the real world too!
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:
A brochure highlighting progress on CNSRP priorities was issued today with copies of the John O’Groat Journal. We were pleased to be able to include a very welcome endorsement of progress written by John Swinney MSP, Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment & Sustainable Growth. A link to an online version of the brochure will be provided in next week’s email.
Thurso Cinema was highly commended at the Screen International awards in London this week, capping an excellent year for the company and its owner Rob Arthur.
There has been general welcome for the news that Atlantis Resources Corporation has entered into a partnership with American company Lockheed Martin to support the delivery of the company’s new AK1500 tidal device, which could be deployed as part of the Meygen development consented last month by Scottish Government http://www.johnogroat-journal.co.uk/News/Marine-tie-up-to-deliver-Pentland-Firth-devices-17102013.htm
Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership
Week commencing 25 September 2017 Tourism, Food and Drink: Â· 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.
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.
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 Â£9 million, invites prospective bidders to formally apply to participate in the procurement to construct major improvements to this important route.
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.
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.
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.
Update Week commencing 19 June 2017 Tourism Food & Drink: Â· 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.
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.
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.
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 â‚¬45 million funding boost which will allow it to begin construction on the project. http://renews.biz/106475/hexicon-swells-dounreay-coffers/ The offshore construction phase of the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project also progresses, with the arrival off Caithness of the huge vessel Stanislav Yudin.
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