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Regeneration - A New Web Site On The Future Of Caithness & North Sutherland

9th August 2007

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.

The site www.caithness.org/regeneration provides a one stop shop for local people to obtain up-to-date news and information on progress made by the Caithness Regeneration Partnership (CRP).

The CRP was established earlier this year to assist the development of the area's economy during the period of the Dounreay nuclear plant's run-down.

A huge amount of work has been going on already towards regeneration of the economy in Caithness and North Sutherland. The website draws together some of the strands where action is underway, including the proposed Nuclear Skills Academy, development on the Wick marina, and training for young people through apprentice programmes in decommissioning and engineering.

The Partnership is made up of four key organisations - Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), The Highland Council, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and the Scottish Executive.

The Dounreay site has played a huge part in the economy of Caithness and North Sutherland for more than 50 years and there are a number of initiatives already being developed to assist employees and contractors look at their long term future.
Carroll Buxton, chief executive of HIE Caithness and Sutherland said: "We are looking at a number of opportunities to sustain employment in the area and to diversify the economy in the longer term. Key development opportunities include the marine energy resource, attracting inward investment into the area and further developing the tourism and food and drink sectors. We have a strong partnership in place for delivering the final plan and we are confident that our area has a prosperous future."

John Farquhar of the NDA, said: "There has been a tremendous amount of work already undertaken and it is important to keep the local community informed of progress. Having one focal point which sets out the partnership's activities ensures this is done."

Ian Hargrave, the Highland Council's corporate manger for Caithness Sutherland and Easter Ross, said: "There is a new sense of urgency in the community to identify ways of regenerating the economy in the wake of the Dounreay rundown. This is why the CRP has been formed with a clear and realistic plan at its heart. Based on the strategy produced by the socio-economic working group chaired by John Thurso MP, the plan will include all of the activities needed to transform the Caithness and North Sutherland economy."

Full details of the plan will be revealed at a conference held Friday 14 September. More information on this conference can be found on the new web site.

The Partnership Structure
There are four key elements to the partnership structure - an executive board, a senior officers group, dedicated staff resources and a stakeholders group.

One
A small group of senior executives, The Executive Board, will oversee delivery of the strategy and action plan, meeting on a quarterly basis. The Executive Board will be accountable for delivery of the strategy and comprises of:
Highlands and Islands Enterprise
The Highland Council
Nuclear Decommissioning Authority
Scottish Executive

Two
A team of experts within the key organisations - The Senior Officers Group - will be established to ensure the work is implemented. They have the responsibility to commit resources on behalf of their organisations and be accountable for the implementation of agreed actions and projects within specific timescales. This team will reflect the core membership of the Executive Board and will also involve other key partners - such as UKAEA and the North Highland College as required.

Three
The Stakeholder Group - a group representing a wide variety of local interests, will act as a 'parliament', meeting bi-annually, receiving quarterly reports on progress and offering feedback on behalf of local, regional and national interests.

Four
Delivery is key to the successful future of the area and the partners recognise the need for additional dedicated staff resource to assist with the delivery of the strategy. As a result the partners have agreed to strengthen local resources to ensure that the necessary expertise is available - The Partnership Team.

 

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