Christmas Update From Cnsrp - Week Commencing 19th December 2016
23rd December 2016
This is a short message to update you on activities relating to the Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership (CNSRP).
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. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-38390654 The news is also carried in today's (Friday’s) John O’Groat Journal, where senior reporter Gordon Calder highlights the Scottish Government’s statement that "the 2017/18 draft Budget statement confirmed that we will commence procurement of the A9 Berriedale Braes scheme in 2017/18, subject to satisfactory completion of statutory procedures." As I highlighted last week, the Berriedale improvements have been a part of the CNSRP Programme over a long period, and support in developing the plans for the scheme has come from CNSRP partners the NDA and Highland Council.
Also on the subject of transport connectivity, last week’s HITRANS event in Inverness on the subject of performance levels on the Far North Rail Line has produced a commitment from a number of the main relevant organisations to work together to make short and longer term improvements to the line. The Far North Line Review Group is set up by Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity Fergus Ewing MSP, and brings together Network Rail, Abellio Scotrail, HITRANS and Friends of the Far North Line.
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.
In the final few days before Christmas CNSRP partners have been continuing discussions on the content and shape of a future CNSRP programme. I chaired two meetings this week, at which we looked at opportunities for maximising economic benefits from the North Coast 500 tourism initiative, and at risks/ mitigations associated with future partnership activity. We will continue refining our plans over the coming weeks.
Best wishes for a happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year!
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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