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
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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