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


Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update

16th March 2018

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. There are currently two consented offshore wind sites in the north - the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm and the Moray Offshore Windfarm, whilst a floating offshore wind site off the north coast of Caithness has also been the subject of interest. Also this week a group of industry players has issued a report that calls for a UK Government commitment to build around 1GW of floating offshore wind by 2025, and for a potential "sector deal" for this developing sector.

It has been fascinating to see that -with Aberdeen harbour closed due to prevailing sea conditions - Thurso Bay has today (Friday) been busy with oil & gas supply vessels looking for port services. And today's A9 has been busy with freight carriers moving equipment up to and down from the port. Hopefully a sign that Scrabster is indeed a natural mainland point from which to do west of Shetland business.

Enabling activities:

CNSRP partners Highland Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) announced this week that a partnership bid for £4.7M funding from the UK Government's Local Full Fibre Network Challenge Fund had been successful. The bid, made in partnership with University of the Highland and Islands, NHS Highland and Scottish Natural Heritage, will offer the opportunity to build ultrafast "Gigabit capable" fibre networks in Inverness, Fort William, Thurso and Wick using public sector "anchor" buildings/ organisations, as well as offering Gigabit Vouchers for local businesses wishing to enhance their connectivity. The Highland bid was the only one of the 13 successful bids to come from Scotland in the first round of this programme, and following due diligence should result in the delivery of full fibre networks by 2020/21. More on the background to the Fund is at and you can read the Highland Council's press Release at

And on a related theme, Scottish Government has announced a programme to "infill" areas with no 4G mobile connectivity. An initial 16 sites are being targeted, but up to 70 sites could be identified for masts through the programme.

The regional board of the Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) initiative met this week. DYW is managed by Caithness Chamber of Commerce, which provides an excellent link between young people and the business community. This meeting focused on updates on the work being done in the area (including very successful engagement events), and also then considered plans for a potential three further years of activity. More on the DYW work is at

Caithness Chamber of Commerce also manages the Caithness Transport Forum, which met last week and heard updates from a range of local, regional and national organisations. It was good to hear from Marco Bardelli at Transport Scotland that progress continues to be good with the procurement of the contract to deliver the A9 Trunk Road enhancement at Berriedale Braes. It was also good to hear that Transport Scotland will be reviewing availability of parking places on the A9 between Inverness and Caithness. This section of trunk road is used by both road freight and tourism traffic, so enhancements will be welcomed.


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:

At a time when cyber security has never been more important, it is great to see that Caithness company Envision has become the first in the Highlands to achieve accreditation through the “Cyber Strong” programme being delivered by HIE. Well done Liam and team for demonstrating the company’s cyber resilience!

In the week that renowned scientist Stephen Hawking passed away, the Caithness International Science Festival got underway this week with a launch event in Wick. This will be perhaps the biggest Festival in the event’s long history, and will feature returning speakers such as former NASA astronaut Duane Carey. For more information on the Festival’s programme of events see . On a related theme I have previously mentioned that HIE’s Area Manager Roy Kirk was invited to present an update to members of the Highland Council’s Sutherland County Committee on the subject of the work being done to examine the potential to establish a facility for the launch of small scale satellites from a site in north Sutherland. You can now read the Northern Times coverage of the discussions at the meeting -

Eann Sinclair

Programme Manager

Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership

Tel: 01847 805211

Mob: 07717 694055



Twitter: @eanncnsrp

Instagram: eanncnsrp


Related Businesses


Related Articles

Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
Weeks commencing 4th and11th June 2018 Energy & Business Services: I'm looking forward next week to meeting with representatives of Sykes @ Home when they come to Caithness to begin a recruitment process for Homeworkers.  CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise has continued to work on attracting business services opportunities to the north, and this one will be of interest to many people in the area.  
Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
Tourism: Interesting to note that Whitbread have this week confirmed an intention to submit planning application to build a Premier Inn in Thurso.  The proposal is for ground near Thurso railway station, and the news has been given a cautious welcome, with some questions about effects on existing hotel businesses.  
Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
Weeks Commencing 7th - 21st May 2018 Energy & business services: As the first towers for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm arrive in Nigg this week, Crown Estate Scotland has begun looking ahead to the next generation of offshore wind projects in Scotland.  The Moray Firth has been a real focal point for offshore wind in Scotland, with the Beatrice project set to enter its operation and maintenance phase in 2019 and the Moray Offshore project currently moving towards financial close during 2018.  
Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
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 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.  
Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
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.  
Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
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.  
Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
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.  
Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
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.  
Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
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.  
Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
Week Commencing 29th January 2018.   Energy & business services.  

[Printer Friendly Version]