Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
30th June 2017
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. The programme offers free advice and support to businesses, community groups and public organisations, helping reduce costs by reducing energy, water, and raw materials use, and by managing waste efficiently. Successes in saving businesses (local and national) money is evident from my conversations with Louise, and also from case studies at http://www.resourceefficientscotland.com/ SMEs can also apply for an interest-free, unsecured loan to help support any measures identified. Also this week CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has launched a series of information modules as part of an "Energy Systems Toolkit" - this is aimed at businesses and community organisations planning or developing projects, and provides information designed to help assess whether a project idea is viable or highlight alternative options for consideration. More information and downloadable fact sheets are available at http://www.hie.co.uk/community-support/community-energy/energy-systems-toolkit.html
Tourism Food & Drink:
Good to see two north names on the shortlist for this year's Highlands and Islands Food & Drink Awards, the results of which are due to be announced by food critic and broadcaster Jay Rayner at a ceremony in Inverness this Autumn. Dunnet Bay Distillers is shortlisted in the "Business Growth" category, whilst John O' Groats based Stacks Coffee House & Bistro is nominated in the "New Business" category. Good luck to both, and to all the other companies and individuals that make this event happen each year! http://www.hifoodanddrinkawards.com/awards/shortlist/
It's good to see this week's announcement from Scottish Government that funding for the Developing The Young Workforce initiative is being extended until 2021. The Initiative is led in the north by Caithness Chamber of Commerce, with funding from both Scottish Government and CNSRP partner the NDA. You can read the announcement at https://news.gov.scot/news/gbp-1m-boost-for-the-young-workforce and there is more information on the progress being made in our area at http://caithnesschamber.com/projects/developing-the-young-workforce/dyw-information
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:
I'm looking forward to giving a short presentation next week to a group of young people starting their "Ready Steady Work" course. The initiative is coordinated annually by Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd in partnership with North Highland College, local High Schools and local employers. It seeks to offer pupils in 4th, 5th and 6th year practical skills and information required to support moving into employment, and will involve visits to local employers as well as workshop sessions on employability topics. I hope that my presentation will give participants a flavour for the areas of economic opportunity we see, both now and in the future.
“Energy North” - the supplement published by Scottish Provincial Press - is out this week, and contains its usual mix of stories from the energy sector in the north. This issue contains an interview with Audrey Maciver, the new Director of Energy & Low Carbon at HIE.
Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership
Tel: 01847 805211
Mob: 07717 694055
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.
Update Week commencing 19 June 2017 Tourism Food & Drink: · CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) this week published a baseline report on the economic impact of the North Coast 500 route which covers the whole of the north mainland. The report highlights the impact of the route's global profile, and suggests that 200 new jobs could be created as a result.
Week commencing 12th June 2017. Energy & business services: The offshore construction phase of the Caithness- Moray programme to enhance the north's electricity distribution grid has reached a significant milestone with the laying of the first sections of the subsea cable across the Moray Firth.
Following the end of the two recent election periods, congratulations to all our new and returning Highland Councillors, and to our new MP. This is a short message to update you on activities relating to the Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership (CNSRP) during the two election periods.
Week 27 March 2017 Energy & business services: Following last week's news that it has received consent from Scottish Government for its proposed Dounreay Tri floating offshore wind project off the north Caithness coast, this week Hexicon has announced a €45 million funding boost which will allow it to begin construction on the project. http://renews.biz/106475/hexicon-swells-dounreay-coffers/ The offshore construction phase of the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project also progresses, with the arrival off Caithness of the huge vessel Stanislav Yudin.
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.
[Printer Friendly Version]