Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Paying too much for broadband? Move to PlusNet broadband and save£££s. Free setup now available - terms apply. PlusNet broadband.  

 

Louise Smith Joins Project To Promote Pentland Firth Energy

8th February 2008

Photograph of Louise Smith Joins Project To Promote Pentland Firth Energy

Louise Smith has been appointed to progress an important marine project set to play a crucial role in revitalising the economy of Caithness following the de-commissioning of Dounreay. Civil engineer Louise Smith takes up the two-year post of project manager with the Pentland Firth Tidal Energy Project next Tuesday (12 February 2008). She joins Duncan Mackay, from the Crown Estates, who is already in place. Louise's new post is funded by HIE and the NDA.

The Pentland Firth Tidal Energy Project is one of the key initiatives being promoted by the Caithness Regeneration Partnership, established early last year to help develop the economy during the run-down of the nuclear plant.

The Partnership is made up of four agencies - Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Highland Council, the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency (NDA) and the Scottish Government.

Louise will be working out of the state-of-the-art T3UK office and trials facility at Janetstown, on the outskirts of Thurso, alongside the Caithness Regeneration Partnership Programme Manager and HIE's Inward Investment Manager.

Carroll Buxton, Area Director, HIE Caithness and Sutherland welcomed Louise's appointment. She said: "We have established a board to coordinate the tidal energy project comprising two local enterprise companies, HIE Caithness and Sutherland and HIE Orkney, Highland Council, the NDA, the Scottish Government and the Crown Estate. These partners agreed to recruit two project managers. Duncan was the first and Louise is the second. Her appointment means the team of people working to develop and diversify the Caithness and North Sutherland economy is now almost complete."

She added: "The marine energy project is one of the most significant projects in the Caithness Regeneration Plan. It is focusing on how we can obtain the best results out of the Pentland Firth and the energy it can generate for the local economy."

Randall Bargelt of the NDA explained: "Marine energy has enormous potential for Caithness. Opportunities were grasped over 50 years ago when the community supported the development of the Dounreay nuclear plant. The NDA is now delighted to be supporting the region to develop another significant opportunity in the waters of the Pentland Firth and I am delighted that we have been able to appoint someone of Louise's calibre to this important post."

Louise is already well known in the area for her voluntary work promoting renewable energy projects. Whilst working for the Ormlie Community Association she set up a free energy advice service for householders in Caithness and Sutherland which is now fully funded and employs four energy advisers.

In addition, Louise has achieved a high profile through her role representing the Caithness Energy Alliance - a body formed by a number of businesses with a Caithness base, to target the renewable and offshore markets. This week Louise was one of the speakers at a major conference organised by the Alliance in Edinburgh with the aim of highlighting the potential of the Pentland Firth in the marine energy field. She is also on the board of Highlands and Islands Community Energy Company (HICEC).

Louise's family moved to Caithness in 1965 when she was six months old and her parents, John and Arlene, still live in the area. John is a retired Vulcan employee and Arlene works for Sepa.

Louise left Caithness to study civil engineering in London and for the next two decades worked on large-scale highway and viaduct construction projects across the globe.

However, mother-of-two Louise always wanted to return home to Caithness to give her own children the freedom she herself enjoyed growing up. She finally achieved that ambition in 2004. She said: "I loved being a bridge engineer - you get such a thrill out of building something so big. I gave up a very good job to move back up here but giving my children the opportunity to live here was more important."

She continued: "I do have a background in planning, environmental work and construction management - all the things that would be part of a tidal energy project. In my new role I will also be able to use my communication skills and experience in public consultation."

Louise is confident the Pentland Firth Tidal Energy Project will become a reality. She said: "I have a huge belief in our community's ability to deliver a large scale development in the Pentland Firth which will bring jobs to the North - there is so much work attached to marine energy development. I am in my 40s now and in 20 years time I would like to think that my children will be able to work locally and that they will be bringing my grandchildren up in Caithness. That is my dream and I will do my best to achieve it."

For more about the Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership see HERE

 

Related Businesses

 

Related Articles

Aquaculture supply chain £1m innovation fund openThumbnail for article : Aquaculture supply chain £1m innovation fund open
Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) working in the aquaculture supply chain in the Highlands and Islands can now apply to a £1 million innovation fund, which has opened for applications.   Announced in March the 30-month pilot programme, Accelerating Aquaculture Innovation (AAI), is led by HIE, and delivered in partnership with Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC).  
Firms invited to register interest in international aquaculture show
Businesses across Scotland engaged in the aquaculture sector are being encouraged to register their interest in attending a major international trade event in Norway by 21 April.   Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is leading the Scottish delegation, in partnership with Scottish Development International (SDI), to create the first Scottish Pavilion at the Aqua Nor technology trade exhibition in Trondheim in August.  
Strong Interest From Highland Firms For Research Competition
More than 50 small firms in the Highlands and Islands involved in the life science and technology sector were given the opportunity to compete for a share of £400,000 of Scottish Government funding at an event yesterday (5 April).   Share The local firms have all signalled their interest in a competition run by the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) by attending a briefing at the HIE's An Lòchran building on the Inverness Campus in Inverness on Tuesday 4th April 2017.  
John O'Groats - Shape The Future - You Can HelpThumbnail for article : John O'Groats - Shape The Future - You Can Help
A drop in event.   Seaview Hotel, John O'Groats.  
Major Expansion at Caithness DistilleryThumbnail for article : Major Expansion at Caithness Distillery
A Caithness distillery has embarked on a major expansion that will boost its turnover and international sales and create at least one new job.   Dunnet Bay Distillery (DBDL) has secured a £64,000 contribution from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) towards the £248,000 development.  
HIE Board welcomes positive endorsement of its roleThumbnail for article : HIE Board welcomes positive endorsement of its role
The Board of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has welcomed Professor Lorne Crerar's report on proposed governance arrangements to support the outcomes of the Scottish Government's Enterprise and Skills Review.   These recommendations would ensure that a HIE Board effectively remains in place.  
Caithness And Lochaber Confirmed For Norwegian Style Learning CentresThumbnail for article : Caithness And Lochaber Confirmed For Norwegian Style Learning Centres
Young people in Caithness and Lochaber will be among the first in Scotland to benefit from new Norwegian style learning centres.   The centres are aimed at helping young people pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and digital (STEMD).  
£3m investment in wave energy projectsThumbnail for article : £3m investment in wave energy projects
Ten wave energy development projects have been awarded a total of £3 million by Wave Energy Scotland.   The projects, devised by individual companies and partnerships, will explore the potential of different materials and processes in the production of wave energy converters (WECs); devices that convert ocean waves into electricity.  
£6.5m agreed for Orkney research and innovation campus
Plans for a multi-million pound research and innovation campus in Stromness in Orkney are set to go ahead after the two organisations behind the venture agreed funding for the project.   The 3.75-acre campus will support the growth of existing research and innovation activity and the expansion of companies in Orkney's world-leading marine renewables, energy and low carbon sector.  
Highlands and Islands Business Survey - Latest Findings PublishedThumbnail for article : Highlands and Islands Business Survey - Latest Findings Published
The latest findings of the Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) Business Panel survey have been published (Tuesday 20 December).   A total of 1,004 businesses throughout the region took part in the survey between 29 September and 3 November.  

[Printer Friendly Version]