Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership Update
14th October 2016
Week Commencing 10 October 2016
Energy & Business Services:
The Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project is one of the largest private sector investments in Scotland, and to illustrate the sheer scale of the work the consortium has produced a short animation, which is available to view at https://vimeo.com/186162042 Also this week, lead partner SSE has broken ground on the site in Moray where the subsea cable from the Beatrice turbines will connect into the National Grid, ready for the date in 2019 when the project will be operational. http://renews.biz/104493/sse-breaks-ground-for-beatrice/
Tourism, Food & Drink:
Last weekend's spectacular weather helped another successful "Taste North" celebration of local produce from Caithness and Sutherland. The event is an initiative of Venture North, the group of tourism businesses working together to promote the area's tourism assets. It's good to see the latest of Venture North's "Discovery" films being launched, with an Autumn-themed look around the area. Once again the stunning footage is captured by local business including Storyboard Films and Sinclair Aerial Surveys. Venture North is supported by CNSRP partner the NDA. To view the incredible "Discovery" series of films see http://www.venture-north.co.uk/discovery/
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:
The CNSRP Delivery Group met this week, and members discussed how best to continue focussing down on key opportunities, so that a possible view of Partnership working beyond March 2017 can be brought together for the next meeting of the CNSRP Executive Board.
Congratulations to Dr Neil James of Thurso's Environmental Research Institute - Dr James coordinates the "Circular Ocean" research project that won the Public Choice award at this year’s EU "Regio Stars" ceremony. The Regio Stars awards aim to identify good practice in regional development in the EU and to highlight original and innovative projects which could be inspiring to other regions. The “Circular Ocean” project seeks “innovative and sustainable solutions for marine plastic waste, the Circular Ocean project seeks to inspire enterprises and entrepreneurs to realise the hidden opportunities of discarded fishing nets and ropes in the Northern Periphery & Arctic (NPA) region.” More info at http://www.circularocean.eu/
Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership
Tel: 01847 805211
Mob: 07717 694055
Week Commencing 20th March 2017 Energy & business services: Last week Swedish company Hexicon was given consent from Scottish Government for its Dounreay Tri floating offshore wind project. As previously highlighted here, the company has announced commitments to work with Scrabster Harbour Trust to establish an Operations & Maintenance base for the project, and with North Highland College UHI to establish apprenticeship training, should it reach financial closure.
Week Commencing 13th March 2017 Energy & business services: Delighted to see this week's news that Caithness firm GMR Henderson has been awarded work on the construction programme for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project's Operations & Maintenance base in Wick. The company, whose base is only about 100 metres away from the O&M site on the Wick harbourfront, will support the initial demolition and preparatory works.
Week Commencing 6 March 2017 Energy & business services: Atlantis Resources Ltd has this week announced that Phase 1A of the MeyGen project has been awarded full accreditation by Ofgem. Phase 1A is now an accredited 6MW tidal stream generating station and will receive 5 ROCS/MWh.
Week commencing 27 February 2017 Energy & business services: As the construction of the Operations and Maintenance base for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project gets closer to starting, the long-term staffing of the project is already being considered. Tier 1 contractor Siemens is inviting applications for apprenticeship programmes: the Siemens offer is for Advanced Apprenticeships in Mechatronic Maintenance (site based technician).
Week Commencing 20 February 2017 Energy & business services: At a meeting of the north Planning Applications Committee of Highland Council this week Councillors agreed to offer no objection to the application by Dounreay Tri Ltd to construct a floating offshore wind project at a site of the north coast of Caithness. The paper considered by Councillors is available to view here .
Week Commencing 6 February 2017. Enabling activities: The "Jobs and How to Get Them" event was held in Thurso last Saturday (see my online blog and https://www.facebook.com/caithnessjobs/ for event photos).
Week Commencing 16 January 2017. Energy & business services: Following last week's very welcome news that Highland Council has approved the application to redevelop harbour-side buildings in Wick as an Operations & Maintenance base for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm (BOWL) project comes the first visualisation of what the restored buildings will look like - for picture see the BOWL Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/beatricewind .
This is a short message to update you on activities relating to the Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership (CNSRP). Enabling activities: Following last week's news that the Reporter appointed to lead the Public Local Inquiry (PLI) into the Berriedale Braes Improvement Scheme had recommended that the proposed Improvement Scheme should go ahead unamended, it was good to hear this week from Humza Yousaf MSP, Scottish Government Minister for Transport and the Islands, that work will now be undertaken to progress the scheme through the remaining statutory processes.
Week Commencing 12 December 2016 Energy & business services: Good to see news yesterday (Thursday) that the second phase of the Meygen project has reached financial closure, allowing construction to take place in the inner sound of the Pentland Firth in 2017. The project will be taken forward by Stroma Tidal Power Ltd, a wholly owned company of Atlantis Resources Ltd.
Energy & business services: I met this week with RES Offshore, who are working on the Dounreay Tri project, which is seeking consent to build a floating offshore wind demonstrator at a site north of Dounreay. Myself and Alan Ogg of North Highland College met with Senior Developer Jack Farnham to discuss the potential for jobs associated with the operation & maintenance of the project.
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