Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership
6th October 2017
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. For further information visit https://www.facebook.com/tastenorth/
· On a similar subject, two companies from the area - Reid's of Caithness and Dunnet Bay Distillers - have been taking part in the "Showcasing Scotland" food & drink event at Gleneagles, joining over 140 other Scottish companies and 150 national/ international exporters seeking Scottish products. The event - which was last held in 2015 – is supported by Scottish Development International, Scotland Food and Drink and CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). More information is at http://news.hie.co.uk/all-news/the-region-s-food-and-drink-goes-global-at-showcasing-scotland/
This week sees the official launch of a new initiative led by Caithness Chamber of Commerce in partnership with North Highland College UHI, NHS Highland and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). Recruit North Highlands has been established with the aim of attracting skilled individuals to the North Highlands to close the gap on hard to fill vacancies. The initiative's website will take a unique "lifestyle first" approach, with a focus not just on individual job opportunities but on selling the North Highlands as a great place to live and work. More information is at http://www.recruitnorthhighlands.com/ and in an indication of the ongoing drive to attract people to the area, pupils in north Sutherland have gone online with a video aimed at attracting a Principal Teacher to Tongue Primary School. You can view the video at https://vimeo.com/236450203
One of the key enabling activities identified in earlier versions of the CNSRP Programme was the important stretch of road in Caithness that connects Thurso and Wick via Castletown. The “Killimster Moss” section of the B876 road crosses deep peat, and in addition to being an important public transport route also provides a valuable route for important businesses such as Subsea 7 and Norscot. CNSRP partner Highland Council responded to it being highlighted in CNSRP discussions and it was forwarded for inclusion in the Council’s roads programme. So it was great to see the road re-open to traffic last Friday (29th) following its closure to allow the enhancement work to take place (see my online blog for photo). https://www.highland.gov.uk/news/article/10490/praise_for_b876_killimster_moss_road_refurbishment
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:
The latest issue of the “Energy North” supplement published by Scottish Provincial Press came out last week. As always it carried a range of stories relating to the energy sector in the north, including recent Scrabster, MeyGen, Beatrice Offshore and Moray Offshore news. I contributed an article summarising some recent activities relating to CNSRP. The publication is available online at http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/html5/reader/production/default.aspx?pubname=&edid=49350156-1a25-4f48-bd18-fbf87e70f134
Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership
Tel: 01847 805211
Mob: 07717 694055
Weeks commencing 20th and 27th November 2017 Energy & business services: Delighted to hear 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, had a good level of interest at its recruitment event in Wick last week. SeaCat is seeking suitably qualified candidates for roles such as Master, Mate and Deckhand, and I understand that several applications are now being taken forward.
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 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.
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.
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