Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
6th October 2014
Week commencing 29th September.
Energy & Business services:
A very successful event was held in Aberdeen this week as part of the ongoing delivery of the Inward Investment Marketing Plan for Caithness & North Sutherland (see communications below for details). The event was facilitated by Subsea UK, the trade body for a sector with around 750 companies. HIE's Roy Kirk, Willie Watt of Subsea 7 and Walter Robertson of the Norsea Group provided key presentations, together with Audrey Banner of DECC's oil & gas team. The very clear message from industry speakers and from event chairman Neil Gordon, CEO of Subsea UK, was that servicing the "Atlantic Frontier" will require different ways of doing business, and Caithness provides a compelling case for cost-effective delivery of solutions. The Caithness solution is the subject of a two page feature in Subsea UK's latest magazine http://issuu.com/subseauk/docs/9829-subseauk-news-sep14-issuu/0 , and will also be the subject of a follow-up opportunity for oil & gas companies to visit Caithness on Tuesday 28th October and see at first hand the facilities on offer. The one day visit will make use of the 35 minute flight time from Aberdeen to Wick. Companies wishing to book a place should email lindsay.foord[AT]hient.co.uk for more details.
Good to see staff from Thurso's Environmental Research Institute (ERI) helping Pelamis Wave Power crew redeploy wave measurement buoys at the site of the proposed Pelamis wave development at Farr Point off the north coast of Sutherland. http://www.pelamiswave.com/news/news/172/Wave-measurement-buoys-redeployed-at-Farr-Point-wave-site
A busy week of CNSRP meetings this week, with the CNSRP Advisory Board meeting on Thursday and the Executive Board meeting on Friday. Members reflected on what has been a summer of very encouraging progress, with key announcements from Atlantis Resources (Meygen), Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (Wick harbour O&M) and Wick John O'Groats airport (new helicopter hangar). Members also welcomed the first signs of success from the inward investment programme led by HIE with support from DSRL and Highland Council.
CNSRP partner Skills Development Scotland is hosting a major event in Wick this week. The "UCAS Expanding Horizons" event featured representatives from a number of UK universities and Higher Education establishments, as well as sectoral representation and local agency/ business presence. The event, which is primarily aimed at senior school pupils, attracted over 350 attendees from schools across the Highland Council area.
Another step forward has been taken for plans to build the National Nuclear Archive at Wick, with the publication this week of the pre-qualification process for building contractors. Meanwhile the NDA continues to procure a commercial partner for the project, with that process expected to conclude in early 2015. More details of the pre-qualification process are at http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2014/09/29/bid-race-starts-for-17m-national-nuclear-archive/
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 role of Caithness as the hub for the new "Atlantic Frontier" for oil and gas was publicised by Subsea UK in the lead up to this week's event in Aberdeen (see above). http://www.subseauk.com/5320/atlantic-frontier-heralded-as-new-mainland-oil-and-gas-hub
· Scottish Provincial Press published its "Energy North" supplement last week. The publication features a range of relevant pieces, including coverage of this week’s Scottish Renewables Marine Conference in Inverness and a two-page feature on Scrabster Harbour. The e-version is at
Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership
Highland Council Offices, Rotterdam Street, Thurso KW14 8AB
Tel: 01847 805520
Mob: 07717 694055
Weeks commencing 20th and 27th November 2017 Energy & business services: Delighted to hear that SeaCat Services, the operators of the crew transfer vessels that will support both construction and operations work for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm (BOWL) project, had a good level of interest at its recruitment event in Wick last week. SeaCat is seeking suitably qualified candidates for roles such as Master, Mate and Deckhand, and I understand that several applications are now being taken forward.
Week Commencing 13 November 2017 Energy & business services: A reminder that SeaCat Services, the operators of the crew transfer vessels that will support both construction and operations work for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm (BOWL) project, will be running a recruitment event in Wick next week for those interested in working on the vessels. SeaCat are seeking suitably qualified candidates for roles such as Master, Mate and Deckhand, and will be hosting a drop-in session at Wick Job Centre, Girnigoe Street, Wick from 9am til 12pm on Thursday 23rd November.
Energy & business services: SeaCat Services, the operators of the crew transfer vessels that will support both construction and operations work for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm (BOWL) project, will be running a recruitment event in Wick for those interested in working on the vessels (see my blog for pictures of the SeaCat Intrepid already based in Wick). SeaCat are seeking suitably qualified candidates for roles such as Master, Mate and Deckhand, and will be hosting a drop-in session at Wick Job Centre, Girnigoe Street, Wick from 9am til 12pm on Thursday 23rd November.
Week commencing 30th October 2017 Energy & business services: The operators of the Moray (East) Offshore Windfarm development (also known as "Moray 1") have announced this week that MHI Vestas has been awarded the contract to supply and install up to one hundred 9.5MW turbines for the development. The Vestas brand will be familiar to many through its use in onshore wind turbines: as previously highlighted here, the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm consortium will be using Siemens turbines.
Weeks commencing 16th and 23rd October 2017. Energy & business services: It was great to be invited this week to take part in a visit to the area by Japanese nuclear industry and government representatives.
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.
[Printer Friendly Version]