Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
28th February 2015
Week Commencing 23rd February 2015
Energy & Business Services
Energy & Utility Skills and Scottish & Southern Energy have this week been advertising an exciting Employability Programme, based in part from North Highland College UHI in Thurso. The programme is aimed at people for whom finding work in the energy sector without previous experience is proving to be a barrier. It is a 10 week voluntary programme of training and work experience. A "Visibility Day" is being held at North Highland College's ETEC for those interested in taking part in the programme, and interested people are invited to apply by Wednesday 4th March. For more details and to apply please see http://www.brilliant-thinking.co.uk/jobs/vacancies/154/apply/ or please email susanne.marshall[AT]euskills.co.uk
The Department for Energy & Climate Change (DECC) announced the recipients of "Contracts for Difference" in the Onshore and Offshore Wind sector this week. There was no offer made in this round to Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd (MORL), one of the two consortiums developing offshore wind sites in the Moray Firth. The other consortium, Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL), has already received a contract offer, and is in detailed discussion with Wick Harbour Authority (WHA) regarding its requirements. The development of Wick Harbour for energy sector uses is one of the major projects on CNSRP's high-level programme, and WHA is being supported in these important discussions by CNSRP partners Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Cavendish Nuclear (whose Shona Kirk has been seconded part-time to WHA to help with project management). https://www.gov.uk/government/news/world-leading-auctions-to-provide-major-green-electricity-boost
Tourism, Food & Drink
Congratulations to Jim and Mary Cowie and their team at the Captain's Galley restaurant in Scrabster for scooping the award for UK Sustainable Restaurant of the Year at the Sustainable Restaurant Association's awards ceremony in London this week. Jim and Mary were presented with their award by renowned chef, TV personality and President of the SRA Raymond Blanc. http://awards2015.thesra.org/sustainable-restaurant/4588483952
Caithness Science Festival returns in March with another full programme of events. The Festival is supported by CNSRP partners the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (via its role as coordinators of the STEM North of Scotland project). More on the Festival, which starts on Tuesday 17th March at 6.30pm in Pulteneytown Academy in Wick, at http://www.science03.org/thefestival2015.html
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:
· Scottish Government announced this week a package of funding to be delivered through Wave Energy Scotland, the body set up with support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise to help accelerate the development of technologies in the wave sector. Details of the announcement are at http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Over-14-million-for-Wave-Energy-Scotland-1662.aspx
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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