Advisory / Counseling Services News
Week commencing 14th March: Energy: Following discussions at the CNSRP Executive Board about the value of pursuing additional mechanisms to encourage inward investment into the area, CNSRP Chairman Sir Anthony Cleaver has this week written to Rt Hon George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, to ask for support in making Caithness and North Sutherland one of the 10 Enterprise Zones announced by the coalition UK Government. Copies of the letter have also been sent to Rt Hon Danny Alexander MP (Chief Secretary to the Treasury) and Michael Moore MP (Secretary of State for Scotland).
Week commencing 7th March Programme activities: Energy: Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore MP was asked by John Thurso MP during Scottish Questions at Westminster this week to support his calls for Caithness to become one of the UK's first Marine Energy Parks. The coalition Government announced this idea recently, and there is a desire in the area to take the idea forward as a means of further emphasising the Pentland Firth's role as the UK hub of marine energy development.
Programme activities: Energy: I continue to discuss ways in which the area's assets can be maximised in relation to the marine energy sector. This week discussions have taken place with Highland Council and HIE staff regarding how we might approach Government to make the case for some form of enterprise zone status for the area, and also to take forward proposals to combine existing financial resources within CNSRP partners to provide an even more attractive package for potential investors.
From Eann Sinclair Week commencing 14th February 2011 Programme activities: Now that we have agreed our priorities for the 2011-2014 period, work continues to implement the programme of delivery activities. This week I chaired the monthly meeting of the Partnership's Delivery Group, at which colleagues from HIE, Highland Council, DSRL and Caithness Chamber reported on progress with our two priority areas of energy and business services.
Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update Week commencing 7th February I brought together several local organisations currently working in the energy and renewable energy sector, along with Caithness Chamber of Commerce, to discuss the relative value of a more coherent local voice in the energy sector. Recent local comments on the effective roles played by Orkney Renewable Energy Forum and Shetland Renewable Energy Forum prompted the discussion, and we focused on how existing mechanisms might be used to better effect.
Weekly update, 24th January Week commencing 24th January I met with Caithness area Highland Councillors and HIE's Area Manager Roy Kirk to discuss the ongoing issues regarding the future of the tax office in Wick, which is scheduled for closure in 2012. HIE remains keen to incorporate the skills represented in the Wick office into its developing campaigns for inward investment in the priority "business services" sector.
Week commencing 17th January From Eann Sinclair - Programme Manage The Partnership's Delivery Group met this week, and discussed progress on our two priority areas of energy and business services. Roy Kirk, HIE's Area Manager reported progress in existing businesses and with targeted inward investment research and campaigns in specific areas of both energy and business services.
Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd has selected Graham Construction as its preferred bidder for the design and build of a low-level radioactive waste disposal facility. The company has headquarters in County Down, Northern Ireland, and operates throughout Scotland from offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd wants to restore an area of land designated as a rubble dump during the construction and operation phases of the site. An estimated 70,000m3 of material from the construction and demolition of buildings was deposited in the area beyond the eastern perimeter of the site from 1960 or so.
Weeks commencing 13th & 20th December The Partnership's Executive Board met last week, and discussed the draft 2011-2014 Caithness & North Sutherland Action Plan. I will be making revisions to the Plan based on our discussions, and circulating a revised version aimed at honing down even further our priority activities.
A report for Highlands and Islands Enterprise says that visitor numbers in Caithness and Sutherland could increase by more than 30% over the next ten years. The study was carried out for the social and economic development agency to look at current and future leisure and business demand to help accommodation providers in the area plan for growth.
Week commencing 22nd November This week's main focus has been finalising a draft of the delivery programme that describes how the partners will achieve the aims set out in our 2011-2014 Action Plan. In developing this draft programme I have been working with collegues from HIE in particular.
Businesses and communities in Caithness, Orkney and the Outer Hebrides look set to benefit from investment in major infrastructure projects approved today (Monday 22 November) by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). The HIE Board (Monday 22 November) has approved grants totalling more than £13m to develop three major projects.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise has been in contact with Rok's administrators, Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC). We are seeking an early meeting with PwC to discuss both the future of the business as a whole and how we progress specific HIE projects currently being delivered by Rok.
A Thurso based engineering company which has been supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has successfully diversified into the offshore wind industry. Calder Engineering Ltd has been supplying cabins to the offshore oil and gas industry for 12 months ago and has recently won a contract to supply them to the renewables industry.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has appointed a new Chief Executive Alex Paterson, currently the economic and community development organisation's Director of Regional Competitiveness, will take up the top post on Monday 2 August. Mr Paterson has been a director with HIE for the past nine years, initially heading up its Developing Skills group.
A £2.4 million project to place 350 fresh academic minds in ambitious businesses across the region is being introduced by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). Over the next three years small and medium sized businesses and social enterprises from across the region will be supported to employ university students, graduates and post-graduates for up to a year.
The North's world-renowned building stone is demonstrating its versatility by featuring in a £57 million Scottish project to create a flagship library for the University of Aberdeen. Caithness Stone Industries has secured a multi-million pound contract to provide both building and specialist finished stone for key areas of the development.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is boosting the opportunities for its businesses to seek out new international markets. The development agency is increasing the numbers of Highlands and Islands dedicated staff working within Scottish Development International (SDI), which offers access to business support internationally, including operations in 27 countries.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) becomes a leaner organisation this month when 53 members of staff leave their posts through voluntary severance on March 31. The move is calculated to produce a total of £2.02m of saving each year which will be reallocated to direct support for economic growth across the region.