Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
14th March 2015
Week Commencing 9th March 2015.
This is a short message to update you on activities relating to the Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership.
Tourism, Food & Drink
A last reminder that tonight (Friday) CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise will be supporting a public meeting in John O'Groats to present ideas for a further part of the redevelopment of John O'Groats. The public art project has been in development for some time, having been the subject of a competition to identify designs for a piece of public art. Noted arts company Dalziel & Scullion will present their proposal, entitled "Nomadic Boulders" at the meeting at 7pm in the Village Hall, John O'Groats. http://www.hie.co.uk/about-hie/news-and-media/archive/award-winning-artists-commissioned-to-create-john-o--groats-sculpture.html#sthash.rls4TF0X.dpbs
Good to hear that Aurora Leisure, the company run by The Thurso Cinema owner Rob Arthur, has been made preferred bidder for a recently-closed cinema in north Wales. Aurora Ltd will take on the operation of Prestatyn’s Scala Cinema for Denbighshire Council, and Rob tells me that the offer was based largely on the work done at Thurso Cinema since its reopening. Administration for the Scala Cinema will be done from Thurso, further supporting employment at Thurso Cinema. http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/prestatyns-scala-cinema-set-reopen-8779781
This week saw the opening of applications for the Highlands and Islands Food & drink Awards. There has been considerable activity in the food and drink industry in the north this year, so it would be good to see nominations for local companies and individuals appearing in one of the range of categories for this year’s awards. More information on the awards at http://www.hifoodanddrinkawards.com/news/12-mar-2015-call-for-entries-for-highlands-and-islands-food-and-drink-awards.asp
CNSRP partner the Highland Council has begun a 6 week extension to its consultation on the next Caithness & Sutherland Local Development Plan, following a number of additional suggested sites received during its recent consultation. Photos of the sites (including Georgemas Junction near Halkirk and Viewfirth in Thurso) and information on them can be accessed at http://www.highland.gov.uk/casplan
Highland Council is also undertaking a consultation on the future of school, public and dial-a-bus transport services in Sutherland, as it carries out an examination of expenditure across its entire operation to balance its finances over the next four years. Short questionnaires can be found for the general public at Transport Programme - Sutherland Public Questionnaire Survey; for community and representative groups and community councils at Transport Programme - Sutherland Community Questionnaire Survey; and for current and prospective suppliers at Transport Programme - Sutherland Supplier Questionnaire Survey.
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:
· I took part this week in a meeting on current and future activity on the Far North railway line. The meeting was organised by the North Line Action Group, and had representatives from Network Rail and Scotrail in attendance to discuss concerns about current performance of the passenger service in particular.
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.
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