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 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.
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.
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