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Partnership lays "foundations for the future"

9th June 2011

Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership (CNSRP)

Business and community leaders heard an upbeat assessment of future prospects for the north as senior partners in Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership (CNSRP) met last week in Wick with members of the Partnership's Advisory Board to discuss current issues.

Following the meeting, CNSRP Chairman Sir Anthony Cleaver said "This was a particularly good time for our joint meeting as we were able to reflect on the three-year plan we set out in 2007 and to look forward to our current plan for the period 2011-2014.

While there is still plenty to do, I think we can look back on three years of real achievement. In that time the development of major opportunities such as marine renewable energy has moved from discussion to serious investment, while a start has been made on providing the necessary supporting infrastructure with the development of Scrabster Harbour.

In the last month we have seen the launch of HIE's "Caithness Ambassadors" scheme, with meetings in Aberdeen and in London; the publication of the Crown Estates' report "Wave and Tidal Energy in the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters", an initial review of the projects already licensed and how they could be built; and this week the launch of the Chamber of Commerce's major initiative to assist with skills transition for the area's workforce.

Key tourism investments at Wick Harbour Marina and at John O' Groats have also been successfully delivered.

Together with the investments by CNSRP partners the NDA, HIE, Highland Council and Scottish Government in North Highland College's ambitious plans this should ensure that one of our competitive strengths remains the engineering expertise available for marine energy developers to capitalise on. We now need to establish our position with the new Government, ensuring our needs are fully understood as the thinking on Enterprise zones develops and also seeking support for further improvements to our transport infrastructure.

Within the Partnership we are now able to take a more structured approach to our relationships, with more formal communication with all our partners and - a particularly important step forward - the tabling at our meeting of a Partnering Charter signed by the NDA, Babcock International and DSRL.

All in all, while there is no room for complacency, I believe we have laid the foundations for the future, enabling us to take advantage of the very real assets this area has."

More about the organisations mentioned above -

Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership was formed in 2007 and brought together Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Highland Council, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and the Scottish Government to support the transition of the area's economy away from its dependence on Dounreay decommissioning work.

The Partnership's Executive Board brings together the Chief Executives of Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Highland Council, together with senior officials from NDA and Scottish Government. Its independent Chairman is Sir Anthony Cleaver. The Board oversees strategic direction of the Partnership's activities.

The Partnership's Advisory Board brings together a range of local and regional stakeholders such as MP, MSP, Highland Councillors, Community Councillors, Caithness Chamber of Commerce, Trade Unions, Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd, North Highland College, Caithness Partnership, The Crown Estate, Dounreay Stakeholder Group, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scrabster Harbour Trust and Wick Harbour Authority. Its Chairman is the Convener of the Highland Council. The Board provides advice and comment on the activities of the Partnership.


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