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
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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