Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
8th March 2014
Week Commencing 3rd March 2014
Energy & Business Services:
It was good to hear this week’s announcement of new ownership and opportunities for AGM Batteries and ABSL Power Systems in Thurso. Under the new structure ABSL Power Systems will become Denchi Power Systems Ltd (named after Denchi House in Thurso, where both businesses are based). CNSRP partner HIE has worked to support both of the new investors.
Tourism Food and Drink:
CNSRP partners met this week to focus on priorities in the tourism sector: Colleagues from HIE, Highland Council, VisitScotland, Skills Development Scotland and Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd came together to look at how best our collective resources could support the growth of the value of tourism to the north’s economy in the coming years. This forms an important part of the Partnership’s 2014-17 Delivery Plan, the summary of which will go for final comment to the Partnership’s key Boards.
Good to get an update this week from Tina Irving on a range of activities currently being taken forward under the banners of the North Highland Way and Let’s Go North, including a potential exhibition at Scrabster ferry terminal later in the spring. More information is at www.letsgonorth.com
I attended the meetings of both the Caithness Transport Forum and the Wick JOG Airport Consultative Committee in Wick this week. Both groupings are managed by the Caithness Chamber of Commerce, the former with financial support from CNSRP partners Highland Council and DSRL. The groupings bring together a range of users, providers and stakeholders in the transport and aviation sectors.
Around 60 delegates from across the UK gathered in Thurso this week for the “Research on Peatlands – Looking Forward” conference hosted by the Environmental Research Institute. The welcome address was given by Rob Gibson MSP, who highlighted opportunities for the Peatlands from a new £15M Scottish Government fund. As part of BBC’s online coverage of the event there is a feature entitled 10 things you may not know about peat
SSE’s public event to raise awareness of opportunities for work through its Strathy onshore windfarm project attracted around 50 businesses last week, and SSE’s report on the event has comments from the Strathy & Armadale Community Council on local economic impacts already being felt.
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:
· Following last week’s mention of progress being made with the building of a distillery at Dunnet, this week’s Caithness Courier carries news of support to Dunnet Bay Distillers from the North Highland Regeneration Fund, which was established with funding from CNSRP partner the NDA. (not online)
· Also good to see that the very important role of community transport in the north continues to be acknowledged via funding support from Scottish Government’s Community Transport Vehicle Fund. The award of £18,000 will help with the purchase of a new vehicle for the service, which is managed by Caithness Voluntary Group.
Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership
Highland Council Offices, Rotterdam Street, Thurso KW14 8AB
Tel: 01847 805520
Mob: 07717 694055
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.
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 £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: · 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 €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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