Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
9th January 2016
Week Commencing 4th January 2016
Energy and Business Services:
One of the key elements in transmitting power from renewables in the north - the Beauly-Denny electricity power line - went into operation just before Christmas. For an aerial look at the power line see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-35146301
As the MeyGen tidal project enters a crucial year Atlantis Resources - the owner of MeyGen - has announced the onshore testing of its AR1500 turbine at the National Renewable Energy Centre (NaREC) facility in NE England. The test period will aim to prove the reliability and performance of its power train system before being deployed at the MeyGen site in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth. http://renews.biz/101053/atlantis-to-test-ar1500-at-ore-catapult
Further encouraging news on the rollout of superfast broadband, with news that the first cabinet in Bettyhill went live just before Christmas. Properties in Bettyhill should now be able to order faster broadband services. Its particularly good to see the infrastructure spreading across North Sutherland, with continued progress expected throughout this year. As mentioned before, you can keep up to date with detailed progress on roll-out at http://www.hie.co.uk/whereandwhen
As part of an ongoing process of helping communicate progress with the delivery of aspects of our economic transition programme CNSRPs 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.
I delivered an update presentation (entitled progress and predictions) on Partnership activities to members of Thurso and district Rotary Club on Thursday 7th January 2016. The presentation was at the kind invitation of Rotarian Colin Chessor, and covered progress with jobs commitments and enabling infrastructure, as well as an update on our assessment of the potential jobs that could be created in the area between now and 2030.
A key space in Thurso has seen activity over the last few weeks, with a planning application submitted to develop Class 1 retail space at the site of the former Thurso Mart. Further information at http://wam.highland.gov.uk/wam/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=NZGNHSIHGP500
Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership
Highland Council Offices, Rotterdam Street, Thurso KW14 8AB
Tel: 01847 805211
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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