Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
8th September 2017
Week Commencing 4 September 2017
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. Work is expected to start on the scheme in 2018. The contract notice for Berriedale has been published on Public Contracts Scotland at https://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk/search/show/search_view.aspx?ID=SEP294236
Caithness Chamber of Commerce continues to enhance the offer from its Developing the Young Workforce initiative - this time with a brand new website designed by local company North Design. The new site features areas for Parents/ Guardians; Teachers/ Tutors; and Employers, as well as an area specifically for the core DYW audience of Pupils/ Students https://www.dywnh.info/about-us/CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterpris
e (HIE)'s #hellodigital programme is bringing experts from the Google Digital Garage to Brora on 26th September with some hands-on demonstrations of digital technology such as 360º Cameras, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. At the event, which is open to all, you can also find out about current trends online and what's coming next, as well as how businesses and organisations can keep pace with changes. To book a place see https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/digital-trends-whats-that-coming-over-the-hill-brora-sutherland-tickets-37272729738
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 attended a meeting of Caithness Highland Councillors this week in the company of Roy Kirk, Area manager for HIE. I outlined progress with CNSRP's programme of work, and Roy highlighted the work being taken forward under the auspices of the Caithness Community Planning Partnership. Two Caithness Councillors (Cllrs Donnie Mackay and Andrew Sinclair) have been nominated by Highland Council to sit on the CNSRP Advisory Board alongside North West & Central Sutherland Councillor Kirsteen Currie.
Good to see the announcement from the University of the Highlands & Islands this week that Professor Stuart Gibb of Thurso’s Environmental Research Institute has been appointed as a Vice-Principal of UHI. Stuart has been an inspirational Director at the ERI, and will be a great ambassador for Caithness and the UHI in this additional role too!
Scrabster Harbour Trust’s new Ice Plant was officially opened this week by Fergus Ewing MSP, Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity. The Plan was part-funded by CNSRP partner the NDA. http://www.johnogroat-journal.co.uk/News/Ewing-Scrabster-04092017.htm
Good to talk to Highland Council’s Keith Grant this week about the planned roll-out of town-centre Wi-Fi to Wick and Thurso. As mentioned here before the Highland Council is taking this project forward under the auspices of the Inverness City-Region Deal, and it was good to hear that procurement of the contract is progressing well.
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 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.
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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