Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
20th February 2016
Energy & Business Services:
It was good to speak last week with Magnus Davidson of Thurso's Environmental Research Institute (ERI) about the transnational EU-funded project called REGINA. The project aims to reduce the vulnerability of small communities in remoter areas of the Nordic Arctic and Scotland which face the development - or closing down of - large-scale industries. North Highland College is the Scottish partner, and Caithness/ North Sutherland provides an ideal focal point, with the decommissioning at Dounreay happening in parallel with opportunities from the renewables sector (particularly offshore wind and tidal stream). http://www.nordregio.se/Nordregio-Research/REGINA/
Good to see a further update today (Friday 19th February 2016) from Atlantis Resources on the MeyGen tidal energy project in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth. The MeyGen Newsletter provides a very comprehensive progress update on ground works at Ness of Quoys, as well as grid connections and turbine technology updates from both Atlantis and Andritz Hammerfest. The work being done by JGC Engineering Services features in the update, as it also did in the CNSRP Annual Review, which was published at the start of this month (see Communications below). http://www.atlantisresourcesltd.com/media-centre/meygen-news/400-publication-of-meygen-project-newsletter.html
Work continues on the multi-million pound "Flows to the Future" development at Forsinard. Thurso-based O'Brien Construction is currently building the £1.9M Field Centre which will provide accommodation and research facilities for international research students as well as schools and university groups. The project is co-ordinated by the Peatlands Partnership, and has already delivered a new Observatory at Forsinard, also built by O'Brien Construction. http://www.flowstothefuture.com/index.html It was also good to catch up today (Friday) in Bettyhill with Fiona Mackenzie and Frances Gunn from Strathnaver Museum and to hear some of the ambitious plans for the museum as a community and cultural hub.
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:
Good to see that the publication of the CNSRP 2015 Annual Review continues to attract coverage in local and regional media. I was able to do a short piece on BBC Highland News this week with reporter Kevin Mackenzie, focusing on the progress to date, and looking at our projections for the next 15 years. It has also been good to get positive feedback from local people who have received copies of the report. An electronic copy of the Annual Review is available to download at http://www.cnsrp.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/CNSRP-Annual-Review-2015.pdf
Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership
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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