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29th August 2007


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.

Organised by Caithness Partnership, in association with the Dounreay Stakeholder Group, the morning session will focus on workshops specifically designed to discuss the six key themes of the Caithness and North Sutherland Socio Economic Strategy and identify the necessary actions to move forward. Malcolm Wicks, Energy Minister will make the opening address before observing the various workshops in action.

In the afternoon David Cairns, MP, will be presented with the key outputs from the morning sessions and also hear of local initiatives which are proving successful before making the final address.

Over 120 delegates are expected to attend the conference and among these will be various MSPs including Jamie Stone, Rob Gibson, Jamie McGrigor, Mary Scanlon and David Stewart.

John Thurso, MP said "I'm extremely proud of the way the community has pulled together a very ambitious conference in a short space of time. This shows true partnership in every sense of the word and it is that partnership and determination that will ensure that Caithness and North Sutherland is successful in achieving the vision for a vibrant future. The talking stops here and the real work starts and I look forward to playing my part in the regeneration of the area."

George Bruce, Chairman of Caithness Partnership said "The number of people attending the conference shows the importance of moving things forward in a clear and transparent way. In less than five years it is likely that jobs at Dounreay will see a significant reduction and that will be a continuing trend. It is imperative that we identify the necessary actions needed to regenerate the area beyond Dounreay."

Alastair MacDonald, Chairman of the Dounreay Stakeholder Group said "The community called for this conference and it is a perfect time to put focus and effort into identifying all the things that will be needed to attract new business to the area. Everyone needs to work together to ensure a successful outcome for the future of the area."

The Caithness Regeneration Partnership will play a pivotal role in the regeneration of the area and are fully supportive of the conference. Proposals and actions have been identified and these will be outlined and discussed at the conference. Recently HIE announced the recruitment of an Inward Investment Manager, Roy Kirk who took up his new post on 21st August. Other recruitment initiatives are ongoing.

See the latest on the Caithness Regeneration Partnership at

Front row left to right:
Anna McConnell (Caithness Parntership), George Bruce (Chamber of Commerce), John Thurso, MP, June Love (Dounreay Stakeholder Group)
Back row left to right: Rosemary Thompson (NHC), Derrick Milnes (Trades Council), Eann Sinclair (HIE), Donna Stewart (UKAEA), Lousie Smith (Ormlie Renewables), Carol Gunn (HIE), Alastair MacDonald (Dounreay Stakeholder Group).


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