Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Great value Unlimited Broadband from an award winning provider  

 

Louise Smith Joins Project To Promote Pentland Firth Energy

8th February 2008

Photograph of Louise Smith Joins Project To Promote Pentland Firth Energy

Louise Smith has been appointed to progress an important marine project set to play a crucial role in revitalising the economy of Caithness following the de-commissioning of Dounreay. Civil engineer Louise Smith takes up the two-year post of project manager with the Pentland Firth Tidal Energy Project next Tuesday (12 February 2008). She joins Duncan Mackay, from the Crown Estates, who is already in place. Louise's new post is funded by HIE and the NDA.

The Pentland Firth Tidal Energy Project is one of the key initiatives being promoted by the Caithness Regeneration Partnership, established early last year to help develop the economy during the run-down of the nuclear plant.

The Partnership is made up of four agencies - Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Highland Council, the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency (NDA) and the Scottish Government.

Louise will be working out of the state-of-the-art T3UK office and trials facility at Janetstown, on the outskirts of Thurso, alongside the Caithness Regeneration Partnership Programme Manager and HIE's Inward Investment Manager.

Carroll Buxton, Area Director, HIE Caithness and Sutherland welcomed Louise's appointment. She said: "We have established a board to coordinate the tidal energy project comprising two local enterprise companies, HIE Caithness and Sutherland and HIE Orkney, Highland Council, the NDA, the Scottish Government and the Crown Estate. These partners agreed to recruit two project managers. Duncan was the first and Louise is the second. Her appointment means the team of people working to develop and diversify the Caithness and North Sutherland economy is now almost complete."

She added: "The marine energy project is one of the most significant projects in the Caithness Regeneration Plan. It is focusing on how we can obtain the best results out of the Pentland Firth and the energy it can generate for the local economy."

Randall Bargelt of the NDA explained: "Marine energy has enormous potential for Caithness. Opportunities were grasped over 50 years ago when the community supported the development of the Dounreay nuclear plant. The NDA is now delighted to be supporting the region to develop another significant opportunity in the waters of the Pentland Firth and I am delighted that we have been able to appoint someone of Louise's calibre to this important post."

Louise is already well known in the area for her voluntary work promoting renewable energy projects. Whilst working for the Ormlie Community Association she set up a free energy advice service for householders in Caithness and Sutherland which is now fully funded and employs four energy advisers.

In addition, Louise has achieved a high profile through her role representing the Caithness Energy Alliance - a body formed by a number of businesses with a Caithness base, to target the renewable and offshore markets. This week Louise was one of the speakers at a major conference organised by the Alliance in Edinburgh with the aim of highlighting the potential of the Pentland Firth in the marine energy field. She is also on the board of Highlands and Islands Community Energy Company (HICEC).

Louise's family moved to Caithness in 1965 when she was six months old and her parents, John and Arlene, still live in the area. John is a retired Vulcan employee and Arlene works for Sepa.

Louise left Caithness to study civil engineering in London and for the next two decades worked on large-scale highway and viaduct construction projects across the globe.

However, mother-of-two Louise always wanted to return home to Caithness to give her own children the freedom she herself enjoyed growing up. She finally achieved that ambition in 2004. She said: "I loved being a bridge engineer - you get such a thrill out of building something so big. I gave up a very good job to move back up here but giving my children the opportunity to live here was more important."

She continued: "I do have a background in planning, environmental work and construction management - all the things that would be part of a tidal energy project. In my new role I will also be able to use my communication skills and experience in public consultation."

Louise is confident the Pentland Firth Tidal Energy Project will become a reality. She said: "I have a huge belief in our community's ability to deliver a large scale development in the Pentland Firth which will bring jobs to the North - there is so much work attached to marine energy development. I am in my 40s now and in 20 years time I would like to think that my children will be able to work locally and that they will be bringing my grandchildren up in Caithness. That is my dream and I will do my best to achieve it."

For more about the Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership see HERE

 

Related Businesses

 

Related Articles

Survey Finds Majority Of Highlands And Islands Businesses Use Fair Work Practices
The latest Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) Business Panel Survey published today (10 September) shows that 89% of companies across the region are offering benefits such as competitive levels of pay, training and skills development, flexible working and paying the living wage.   Over a thousand businesses across the region took part in the latest survey conducted between 10 June and 8 July.  
Public Invited To Share Views On Satellite Launch Site Proposals
Plans to create a spaceport that will launch communications satellites into orbit from the Moine peninsula in Sutherland are set to be unveiled for discussion at public meetings over the next two months.   Development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), which is backing the £17.3m project to design and build Space Hub Sutherland, has today (Wednesday 4 September) lodged a proposal of application notice with the Highland Council.  
Social business programme launches across the Highlands and Islands
People with a business idea that will benefit their local community or environment will soon have access to a new programme of support, being launched across the Highlands and Islands.   Known as the Social Start-Up School, the innovative programme will be delivering four locally focused initiatives.  
HIE Sells Centre For Health Science In InvernessThumbnail for article : HIE Sells Centre For Health Science In Inverness
Highlands and Islands Enterprise has sold the to the University of the Highlands and Islands in a deal worth £9.83m.   Funded by a loan from Scottish Funding Council, the sale will consolidate and help further develop the university's School of Health, Social Care and Life Sciences.  
Lease option agreed for Space Hub Sutherland
The owners of land earmarked for the Space Hub Sutherland development on the Moine Peninsula have agreed a lease option with developer, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).   Representatives of Melness Crofters Estate (MCE) and HIE signed the agreement yesterday (Wednesday 31 July).  
£3m For Scrabster Harbour ProjectThumbnail for article : £3m For Scrabster Harbour Project
The second phase in a major upgrade of Scrabster Harbour in Caithness has secured up to £3m investment from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).   The funding will enable the redevelopment of the existing St.  
New grants to support young entrepreneurs
Start-up businesses in the Outer Hebrides could receive a welcome injection of capital from a new joint initiative by Business Gateway Outer Hebrides and Highlands and Islands enterprise.   The Outer Hebrides Young Entrepreneur Start-Up Scheme (OHYESS), will provide grants of up to £2,500 to support entrepreneurs age 18-40 to set up businesses in key sectors across the Outer Hebrides.  
Equiniti welcomed to Thurso Business ParkThumbnail for article : Equiniti welcomed to Thurso Business Park
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has welcomed an international technology-led services and payments specialist as the newest tenant to Thurso Business Park.   The agency has developed the park to enable local firms to expand and to attract new companies into the area.  
Foula Signs Up To Clean Islands Energy Transition PledgeThumbnail for article : Foula Signs Up To Clean Islands Energy Transition Pledge
Residents of Britain's most remote inhabited island have stepped up efforts to move towards a cleaner energy system.   The people of Foula off Shetland have signed up to the Clean Energy Transition Pledge, which commits them to producing a decarbonisation plan over the next 12 months.  
Update To Cairngorm Strategic Plan Is PublishedThumbnail for article : Update To Cairngorm Strategic Plan Is Published
The authors of far-reaching 2018 report on potential investment priorities at Cairngorm Mountain have reviewed and updated their findings.   US-based consultants SE Group were commissioned last year by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), owner of Cairngorm estate.  

[Printer Friendly Version]