Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership Update
18th December 2016
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. A good summary of progress and plans is contained at the website of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers http://www.imeche.org/news/news-article/meygen-tidal-stream-project-receives-14m-for-next-construction-phase
· The Reporter appointed to lead the Public Local Inquiry (PLI) into the Berriedale Braes Improvement Scheme issued her final report late last week. The letter to Transport Scotland confirms the Reporter's view that the proposed Improvement Scheme should go ahead unamended. As previously highlighted here the Berriedale improvements have been a part of the CNSRP Programme over a long period, and support in developing the plans has come from CNSRP partners the NDA and Highland Council. The relevant documents, including a copy of the final PLI Report, are at https://www.dpea.scotland.gov.uk/CaseDetails.aspx?id=116958&T=20
· A very useful meeting took place this week of a group brought together under the Highlands and Islands Science Skills Academy to take forward the "Newton Rooms" concept, which seeks to provide additional inspirational learning opportunities for young people. The development of the project in the Highland Council area has been greatly helped by the Inverness City-Region Deal, and we are now planning a first Newton Room in Caithness.
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:
Welcome news this week that following a period of uncertainty regarding the future of EU Programmes following the UK Referendum, the Highland LEADER Programme is encouraging potential applicants to come forward with project ideas. Funding of over £6.6 million is available for projects that will benefit communities across the Highlands, and Scottish Government has confirmed that LEADER funds can be committed up until the point the UK leaves the EU. The LEADER Programme promoting economic and community development within rural areas, and has Local Area Partnerships in both Caithness and Sutherland. More info on the Highland Programme is at http://www.highlandleader.com Also this week saw the launch of the Beatrice Partnership Fund, the community benefit fund set up for the communities affected by the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project. The Fund will be £4M for the part of the Highland Council area affected, and further information on it is available at http://sse.com/beingresponsible/responsiblecommunitymember/localcommunityfunds/beatricepartnershipfund/
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.
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.
Week commencing 21 November 2016 Energy & business services: Representatives of the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd were in Wick yesterday (Thursday 24th) to give a public update on progress with the project, and perhaps more specifically with plans to use Wick harbour as the Operations & Maintenance base for the project. The event was very busy, and it was great to be able to talk to key personnel involved in the project.
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