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Energy Minister, Malcolm Wicks and David Cairns, MP, Minister of State at the Scotland Office will travel north to attend the Caithness Conference.   The conference to be held on 14th September 2007 will identify the actions needed to grow existing or attract new business to the area to offset the impact of the reduction of jobs at Dounreay as the decommissioning progresses.  
Looking forward - Sandy Cumming, Chief Executive of Highlands and Islands EnterpriseThumbnail for article : Looking forward - Sandy Cumming, Chief Executive of Highlands and Islands Enterprise
This article is from the HIE network 2007 report To read the full report go to - HIE network 2007 This is a Pdf doc HIE has just come through a period of extensive internal change, reshaping its structures to deliver a new set of strategic priorities.   Yet Sandy is aware that serious challenges still need to be addressed by HIE and its partners.  
Highlands and Islands Enterprise network 2007Thumbnail for article : Highlands and Islands Enterprise network 2007
The HIE network has decided to publish a simple narrative account of its activities in 2006-07 in advance of publishing its formal annual report and accounts.  The report is perhaps a more readable account of what has happened over the preceding year.  
Regeneration for the northThumbnail for article : Regeneration for the north
A structure to deliver a regeneration strategy is being overseen by an executive board comprising the chief executives of HIE and Highland Council and the director of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority Region 4.  Following a period of public consultation on the strategy for Caithness and north Sutherland, a detailed action plan is being developed with the input of partner organisations.  
Jim Mather, Energy, Enterprise and Tourism Minister Met Local Business PeopleThumbnail for article : Jim Mather, Energy, Enterprise and Tourism Minister Met Local Business People
Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism Jim Mather was in Caithness on 14 August 2007 to talk to local businesses and organisations about potential economic opportunities.   He visited marine electronics manufacturer Kongsberg Maritime Ltd and SubSea 7 who manufacture pipeline bundles and are seeking to diversify into the renewables sector.  
Calling All Entrepreneurs - Win a Two Day Trip To An Event In Glasgow
Is your business a winner? Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is offering a two-day trip worth 1,000 to a high-profile event in Glasgow for Scotland's leading entrepreneurs.   If your business is based within the HIE geographical area, you've got at least one ready-for-market product or service and are actively seeking ways to expand your sales base beyond local boundaries, you are eligible to win a maximum of two delegate places at this prestigious event taking place on Friday 5th - Saturday 6th October 2007.  
Regeneration - A New Web Site On The Future Of Caithness & North Sutherland
A new section of website focusing on the regeneration efforts in Caithness and North Sutherland has been launched.  The importance of the work now going on cannot be underestimated and a look at the bottom of this page shows the bodies involved in this new process to find a new future for the far north post Dounreay.  
Partnership Announces Inward Investment Appointment
Roy Kirk has been appointed to the post of inward investment manager by the Caithness Regeneration Partnership.  The role has been created to assist Caithness and North Sutherland's economy through the effects of the Dounreay nuclear plant's run-down.  
The case for laying long distance subsea cables from renewable energy projects on Scotland's islands to areas of large population in the south is far from being clear cut under current regulation, according to a key consultants' report.   The review was prepared by TNEI for island authorities together with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and the Scottish Executive to investigate the best options for transmitting power generated by island renewable energy projects to the mainland TNEI described the current situation as a 'Catch-22 scenario' whereby prospective renewable energy developers require confidence that they will be able to connect to the grid, but conversely, investment in grid infrastructure is reliant on securing a guaranteed level of supply.  
Caithness - The Energy EnvironmentThumbnail for article : Caithness - The Energy Environment
Last week saw the attendance of twenty-three Caithness based businesses and organisations at the All-Energy renewable energy conference and exhibition in Aberdeen, the biggest such event in the UK.  The two day event was attended by 4000 people from all over the world (compared to 2850 in 2006).  
Market Development Scheme Worth 9.2 Million In Food And Drink Sales
Highlands and Islands food and drink producers have attributed 9.2 million of new sales to events and exhibitions organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), through its UK Market Development programme.   A recent evaluation of the programme commissioned by HIE has demonstrated that bringing together food and drink producers and buyers is an effective way for speciality companies in the Highlands and Islands to do business.  
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) will report on a year of record investment in the Highland economy when it delivers its annual review to the May board meeting on May 15th.   Head of strategic planning and research, Alastair Nicolson, will tell board members in Thurso that all primary measure targets were exceeded and significant progress made against key strategic projects in a year that saw the network invest 118m in the regional economy.  
THE drive to create a university for the Highlands and Islands has received a major boost from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).   The enterprise network this week announced a funding package of nearly 5m over the next three years designed to facilitate specific outputs which UHI Millennium Institute needs to attain to satisfy the Quality Assurance Agency that university title is appropriate.  
Thurso High School In Green Awards Final
Thurso High School is one of eight schools to make it through to the final of the Big Green Challenge.   Eight schools from the Highlands and Islands are to battle it out for a coveted place in the final of the region's first debating competition tackling one of the most talked-about subjects of the 21st century - renewable energy.  
Unemployment Update - March 2007Thumbnail for article : Unemployment Update -  March 2007
Summary The March 2007 unemployment figures were released on 14th March 2007.  During the month, February 2007 to March 2007, the number of people claiming unemployment benefit in Great Britain fell by 1.9%, from 948,577 to 930,094 (18,483 claimants).  
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) Board Heads To Thurso
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) will be holding its next public board meeting at the Pentland Hotel in Thurso on Tuesday May 15, 2007.   Chair for HIE Caithness and Sutherland Pat Buchanan will begin proceedings by welcoming the board to Caithness.  
Unemployment In The Caithness and Sutherland Wards - March 2007Thumbnail for article : Unemployment In The Caithness and Sutherland Wards - March 2007
Caithness and sutherland unemploment fell as at March 2007 to 722 claimants for benefit with the percentage dropping for unemployment benfit claimants by 3% between Feb 07 and March 07.  The precentage drop between March 06 and March 07 was 11.6%.  
Public Agencies Join To Assist New Residents Settle In To The Region
A range of new services for people who have recently moved into the Highlands from other countries has won support from the European Social Fund (ESF).   Highland Wellbeing Alliance, a partnership of public sector organisations in the area, has secured ESF funding worth 260,500 to back initiatives which will help the area's new residents with issues such as improving their English language skills, gaining employment and finding out how to access services and advice.  
How Would You Invest 500k In The Scottish Music Industry?Thumbnail for article : How Would You Invest 500k In The Scottish Music Industry?
The country's enterprise agencies are inviting anyone involved in the Scottish music community to submit ideas about how they think the new Scottish Music Futures Fund should be invested.   Last month, the Scottish Executive allocated �500,000 to Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to set up a business development fund to help cultivate the music industry in Scotland - supporting the 'music stars of tomorrow'.  
Plans to invest almost 375 million over the next three years in economic and community development across the Highlands and Islands have just been published by the area's enterprise network.   The latest operating plan from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) details the key strategic projects which the development agency will be backing between now and 2010, along with a set of eight 'primary measure' targets covering many smaller-scale initiatives.