Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership Update
31st March 2017
Week 27 March 2017
Energy & business services:
Following last week's news that it has received consent from Scottish Government for its proposed Dounreay Tri floating offshore wind project off the north Caithness coast, this week Hexicon has announced a €45 million funding boost which will allow it to begin construction on the project. http://renews.biz/106475/hexicon-swells-dounreay-coffers/
The offshore construction phase of the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project also progresses, with the arrival off Caithness of the huge vessel Stanislav Yudin. Seaway Heavy Lifting is delivering this phase of work, and the vessel will join up with another travelling from the Arnish yard in the Western Isles, where the piles for the project are being fabricated. (see my online blog for images of the Stanislav Yutin)
Tourism, Food & Drink:
A number of local tourism businesses in Caithness came together this week in Thurso. The "Caithness Tourism Gathering 2017" was held under the auspices of the Caithness & Sutherland Visitor Attractions Group and Venture North, and attendees heard presentations from Wild Caithness, Venture North, North Coast 500 and Visitscotland. The event also provided a forum for businesses to meet and discuss current issues and opportunities. (see my online blog for photos). I also discussed this week with Highland Council colleagues issues of infrastructure around the North Coast 500 route - specifically signage.
A further sign of confidence in the area is the planning application submitted by Merlin Cinemas Ltd to increase the number of screens at its cinema in Thurso from two to five. You can see the related documentation at http://wam.highland.gov.uk/wam/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=ON7Z4HIHH0500
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:
I attended a meeting this week to review the Dounreay Stakeholder Group, following an independent review of the organisation carried out by David Collier of White Ox consulting. The report highlighted that the DSG remains probably the best performing site stakeholder groups in the NDA estate, and showed various examples of good practice. Attendees agreed that work will now be done to ensure that future DSG structures continue to complement the other groupings at work in the north. This is particularly useful as future structures for CNSRP are also being agreed, allowing clear roles and remits to be reinforced.
Good to hear that Scottish Ambulance Service has announced "significant additional investment" in ambulance services in Caithness. There has been much controversy over service provision, and has featured as a discussion point in Community Planning Partnership meetings over the last few months.so many people will look forward to hearing more about the detail of the investment. http://www.scottishambulance.com/NewsDesk/NewsItem.aspx?NewsID=200
Finally, as the pre-election period for the 2017 local council elections begins we were very sad to hear this week of the passing of John Rosie, the local member for Thurso on the Highland Council. John's decades of service to local government will be well known to many, and his tireless support for community organisations and social enterprises such as Ormlie Community Association have also been significant. His support for the work of CNSRP over the years has always been appreciated.
Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership
Tel: 01847 805211
Mob: 07717 694055
Energy & business services: Staff from AGM Batteries were represented at a business breakfast event this week (see communications below), and it is great to see their recent success recognised in today's John o' Groat Journal. The company, which is based on Thurso's Business Park, has been awarded a £1.48 million grant through the UK Government's Faraday Battery Challenge.
Week Commencing 29th January 2018. Energy & business services.
Energy & business services: The Scottish Government's Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme is now open for applications. Financial support through the programme has been designed to encourage innovation of both design and business models.
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.
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