Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership Update
11th March 2017
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. Ofgem has determined that the accreditation is effective from 8 November 2016, so all power produced since the first turbine came on stream will receive this level of ROCS.
This week has seen work commencing on the construction of the Operations & Maintenance base for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm (BOWL), with some road restrictions now in place around Wick harbourfront to allow work to begin.
Tourism, Food & Drink:
· Delighted to see this week's announcement from Dunnet Bay Distillery of expansion plans for its premises at Dunnet. Martin and Claire Murray have made remarkable progress since establishing the business in 2014 and launching the award-winning Rock Rose Gin and Holy Grass Vodka. The business now employs 12 people, and the expansion, which has been supported by CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise, will allow increased production capacity at the distillery and will create visitor facilities to capitalise on the brands' successes as well as the increasing visitor numbers being see as the North Coast 500 attracts global attention to the area. http://news.hie.co.uk/all-news/major-expansion-at-caithness-distillery/
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.
· The team behind the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project have produced a brand new website for the project, bringing together useful project background with up to date information of employment opportunities and supply chain work. The site is now live at https://www.beatricewind.com/
· Next Thursday will see a public presentation by Linda Ross, a PhD candidate at the UHI Centre for History, who is carrying out research on the history of Dounreay. Her talk, entitled "Housing the Atomics" will be in Caithness Horizons on Thursday 16th March at 7.30pm. To book a place contact the venue at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01847 896508. http://www.caithnesshorizons.co.uk/
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 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.
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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