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 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.
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.
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