Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
8th September 2017
Week Commencing 4 September 2017
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. Work is expected to start on the scheme in 2018. The contract notice for Berriedale has been published on Public Contracts Scotland at https://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk/search/show/search_view.aspx?ID=SEP294236
Caithness Chamber of Commerce continues to enhance the offer from its Developing the Young Workforce initiative - this time with a brand new website designed by local company North Design. The new site features areas for Parents/ Guardians; Teachers/ Tutors; and Employers, as well as an area specifically for the core DYW audience of Pupils/ Students https://www.dywnh.info/about-us/CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterpris
e (HIE)'s #hellodigital programme is bringing experts from the Google Digital Garage to Brora on 26th September with some hands-on demonstrations of digital technology such as 360º Cameras, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. At the event, which is open to all, you can also find out about current trends online and what's coming next, as well as how businesses and organisations can keep pace with changes. To book a place see https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/digital-trends-whats-that-coming-over-the-hill-brora-sutherland-tickets-37272729738
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 of Caithness Highland Councillors this week in the company of Roy Kirk, Area manager for HIE. I outlined progress with CNSRP's programme of work, and Roy highlighted the work being taken forward under the auspices of the Caithness Community Planning Partnership. Two Caithness Councillors (Cllrs Donnie Mackay and Andrew Sinclair) have been nominated by Highland Council to sit on the CNSRP Advisory Board alongside North West & Central Sutherland Councillor Kirsteen Currie.
Good to see the announcement from the University of the Highlands & Islands this week that Professor Stuart Gibb of Thurso’s Environmental Research Institute has been appointed as a Vice-Principal of UHI. Stuart has been an inspirational Director at the ERI, and will be a great ambassador for Caithness and the UHI in this additional role too!
Scrabster Harbour Trust’s new Ice Plant was officially opened this week by Fergus Ewing MSP, Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity. The Plan was part-funded by CNSRP partner the NDA. http://www.johnogroat-journal.co.uk/News/Ewing-Scrabster-04092017.htm
Good to talk to Highland Council’s Keith Grant this week about the planned roll-out of town-centre Wi-Fi to Wick and Thurso. As mentioned here before the Highland Council is taking this project forward under the auspices of the Inverness City-Region Deal, and it was good to hear that procurement of the contract is progressing well.
Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership
Tel: 01847 805211
Mob: 07717 694055
Week commencing 16th April 2018 Tourism: In the week that we celebrated World Heritage Day it is good to see Highland Council advertising for a fixed term post to progress the long-held aspiration that the Peatlands of Caithness and Sutherland become a UNESCO World Heritage area. You can view the job description and background to the appointment at https://www.myjobscotland.gov.uk/councils/highland-council/jobs/world-heritage-project-co-ordinator-114206 Enabling activities: Recruitment continues this week for the successor to CNSRP Independent Chair Sir Anthony Cleaver, whose last meeting as Chair of the Partnership's Executive Board will be in June this year after ten years successfully leading CNSRP's programme of work.
Week Commencing 26th March 2018 Energy & Business services: As progress continues with the onshore and offshore construction of the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm, news comes this week that the other offshore wind development in the Moray Firth has seen a change to its consortium of ownership. A 33.4% stake in the Moray East project has been taken by Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan, bringing them on board with existing shareholders EDPR and Engie.
Week Commencing 19th March 2018 Energy & Business services: Interesting this week to read news of continuing interest in Floating Offshore Wind on the north cost of Caithness and Sutherland. As I've previously mentioned here, the Dounreay Tri project intended to build a Floating Offshore demonstrator project at a site around 6km north of Dounreay, but following that company's entering into administration the future for the development was uncertain.
Week Commencing 12th March 2018 Energy & Business services: Crown Estate Scotland has announced that following last September's Contracts for Difference auction, which demonstrated a sharp fall in the cost of offshore wind electricity, it will now consult industry and government on further leasing rounds for offshore wind. Marine Scotland will lead a planning process to identify potential new sites, which will include both fixed and floating offshore wind.
Week Commencing 5th March 2018. Energy & Business services: An interesting update report in today's John O'Groat Journal, which highlights that Fraser Well Management has been appointed to carry out work on the "Wick well" oil field off the Caithness coast at Lybster.
Week commencing 19th February 2018. Energy & Business services: Good to see the installations of pontoons in Wick's Inner Harbour progressing, as part of the construction phase of the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project.
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.
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