Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
8th March 2014
Week Commencing 3rd March 2014
Energy & Business Services:
It was good to hear this week’s announcement of new ownership and opportunities for AGM Batteries and ABSL Power Systems in Thurso. Under the new structure ABSL Power Systems will become Denchi Power Systems Ltd (named after Denchi House in Thurso, where both businesses are based). CNSRP partner HIE has worked to support both of the new investors.
Tourism Food and Drink:
CNSRP partners met this week to focus on priorities in the tourism sector: Colleagues from HIE, Highland Council, VisitScotland, Skills Development Scotland and Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd came together to look at how best our collective resources could support the growth of the value of tourism to the north’s economy in the coming years. This forms an important part of the Partnership’s 2014-17 Delivery Plan, the summary of which will go for final comment to the Partnership’s key Boards.
Good to get an update this week from Tina Irving on a range of activities currently being taken forward under the banners of the North Highland Way and Let’s Go North, including a potential exhibition at Scrabster ferry terminal later in the spring. More information is at www.letsgonorth.com
I attended the meetings of both the Caithness Transport Forum and the Wick JOG Airport Consultative Committee in Wick this week. Both groupings are managed by the Caithness Chamber of Commerce, the former with financial support from CNSRP partners Highland Council and DSRL. The groupings bring together a range of users, providers and stakeholders in the transport and aviation sectors.
Around 60 delegates from across the UK gathered in Thurso this week for the “Research on Peatlands – Looking Forward” conference hosted by the Environmental Research Institute. The welcome address was given by Rob Gibson MSP, who highlighted opportunities for the Peatlands from a new £15M Scottish Government fund. As part of BBC’s online coverage of the event there is a feature entitled 10 things you may not know about peat
SSE’s public event to raise awareness of opportunities for work through its Strathy onshore windfarm project attracted around 50 businesses last week, and SSE’s report on the event has comments from the Strathy & Armadale Community Council on local economic impacts already being felt.
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:
· Following last week’s mention of progress being made with the building of a distillery at Dunnet, this week’s Caithness Courier carries news of support to Dunnet Bay Distillers from the North Highland Regeneration Fund, which was established with funding from CNSRP partner the NDA. (not online)
· Also good to see that the very important role of community transport in the north continues to be acknowledged via funding support from Scottish Government’s Community Transport Vehicle Fund. The award of £18,000 will help with the purchase of a new vehicle for the service, which is managed by Caithness Voluntary Group.
Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership
Highland Council Offices, Rotterdam Street, Thurso KW14 8AB
Tel: 01847 805520
Mob: 07717 694055
Week Commencing 8 January 2018 Energy & business services: Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy - the suppliers of the turbines for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm - are advertising several new roles to be based at the operations base in Wick. See http://forum.caithness.org/forumdisplay.php?22-Job-Vacancies.
Week Commencing 1st January 2018. Energy & business services: 2018 promises to be another year of exciting change in the energy sector, and to highlight how things have progressed in the north the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm team have produced a short booklet outlining the significant milestones that have been achieved during 2017 - you can access the booklet at https://www.beatricewind.com/single-post/2017/12/22/lookingbackat2017 .
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 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.
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.
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