Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
23rd May 2014
Week Commencing 19th May 2014
Energy & Business Services:
Two welcome pieces of news for the local economy this week. Firstly Subsea 7 has announced a major new £270 million contract to build a pipeline for Premier Oil to service its oil field east of Aberdeen. The 60km pipeline will be fabricated at Subsea 7’s Wester site, using its 7km rail tracks. The company has recently invested in new multi-million pound infrastructure at the northern end of its railtracks, and the Premier Oil contract is expected to provide work for 130-140 staff at Wester until at least 2016, with a further 100 jobs in the local supply chain. It’s another great success for Willie Watt and his colleagues, reinforcing Subsea 7’s important economic value to Caithness, and highlighting again the area’s capabilities in the energy sector.
Second piece of good news this week comes from John Gunn & Sons, who have been awarded a £1M contract associated with the development of the Strathy North windfarm in North Sutherland. The contract, awarded by RJ Macleod as main contractor to SSE Renewables, will see Gunn’s utilising their quarry in Melvich, thus bringing both job security to existing staff and creating new jobs. As reported last week, SSE’s “Open 4 Business” web portal – supported by CNSRP partners HIE and Highland Council - offers local companies a route into contract opportunities.
There was a local presence at this week’s All-Energy Conference & Exhibition in Aberdeen. CNSRP partners have taken a lead role in facilitating this: HIE’s Energy Pavilion was once again a focal point for representatives from across the Highlands & Islands, and several Caithness companies had a presence on the Highland Council-led “Enterprising Highland” stand. Caithness Chamber of Commerce’s Invest Caithness presence attracted a number of enquiries, including one from a Conference delegate considering relocating to Caithness. HIE’s local inward investment team were also in Aberdeen for a series of meetings with companies as part of our ongoing programme of inward investment activity.
Next week will see an event to highlight the value of North Highland Regeneration Fund, the loan fund established with financial support from CNSRP partner the NDA. The fund has supported a number of businesses since its inception, injecting over £1.5M in loan funding. The Fund remains open to businesses in the north Highlands with loans of between £5,000 and £50,000. The Fund is managed by Caithness Chamber of Commerce. The Fund’s new brand identity is on its website. www.nhrf.co.uk/
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:
· Good to see Catriona Metcalf’s article on KP Technology in today’s John O’Groat Journal. I met KP Technology staff at a recent event held by HIE, and heard of the exciting work going on at the company’s Wick base with a team of dynamic individuals. The company manufactures Kelvin Probes and exports them to countries around the world.
Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership
Highland Council Offices, Rotterdam Street, Thurso KW14 8AB
Tel: 01847 805520
Mob: 07717 694055
Week commencing 15th January 2018 Enabling activities: It is always great to see an innovative Caithness company being recognised - this time Norscot Joinery, whose partnership with Strathclyde University through the Interface programme, is up for Innovation of the Year in the 2018 Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards. http://www.bqlive.co.uk/scotland/2018/01/11/news/scottish-knowledge-exchange-awards-finalists-announced-29865/ Business Gateway (managed in the Highlands by CNSRP partner the Highland Council) will be running two workshops for businesses interested in boosting their digital profile.
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.
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