Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
23rd March 2018
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. However, Danish developer Floating Power Plant (FPP) and Ireland's DP Energy have been considering plans for the north coast since 2016, and are now moving forward with plans to develop a wave/ floating offshore wind hybrid project off Dounreay . Orkney-based Aquatera is providing support to develop an Environmental Impact Assessment for the project. The "Katanes Floating Energy" project (named after the ancient name for Caithness) could be built around 2020. More at http://renews.biz/110576/wavewind-embraces-scotland/
I was involved in a meeting this week that brought together members of the Thurso Community Sports Hub with the NDA and SportScotland. I have previously described how TCSH plans to develop a facility in Thurso to meet existing demand from a range of sports clubs currently constrained by lack of a practice/ training venue. We had a very constructive discussion on the project’s status, and on the crucial question of funding availability. The project was a part of the 2014-17 CNSRP Programme, but we retain an interest in it due to its value in helping create important social infrastructure in the north.
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:
The CNSRP Advisory Board met in Wick today (Friday). As I have described before, the Board brings together a range of organisations such as community councils, trade unions, voluntary groups, Wick and Scrabster Harbour to help comment and advise on the CNSRP programme. Stephen Sheridan from CNSRP partner Skills Development Scotland updated on the Skills Investment Plan for Caithness and North Sutherland, and I updated members on progress with the main areas of activity on the CNSRP Programme. The meeting was once again chaired by Cllr Alasdair Christie, Depute Leader of Highland Council.
I was delighted to be invited this week to the official opening of Nucleus: The Nuclear and Caithness Archive. The opening of the £21M complex was carried out by The Princess Royal and hosted by CNSRP partners the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Highland Council, together with High Life Highland and commercial operator Restore UK.
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/princess-royal-unveils-plaque-at-official-opening-of-nuclear-archive It was also good to see that Nucleus has this week been included on the shortlist for the 2018 awards from the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-43471102
CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise has commissioned a survey to gather feedback from individuals, businesses and community groups on access to banking services in rural areas. Indigo House Group is carrying out the work, and you can provide feedback to help inform the study by completing an online survey at http://www.hie.co.uk/regional-information/economic-reports-and-research/archive/access-to-banking-services-in-rural-areas.html
This and my previous updates are also available to view on the Partnership's Blog on our CNSRP website at http://www.cnsrp.org.uk/blog/ as well as the main social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - details below). I hope you find this useful - if you would prefer not to receive this then please reply to this message with the word "unsubscribe" in the Subject box.
Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership
Tel: 01847 805211
Mob: 07717 694055
Energy & Business Services: It was good to meet this week with a large company seeking to grow its presence in Caithness, and good to be able to provide some productive links with initiatives that HIE is already supporting and which might help further attract its interest. We are fortunate in having a number of opportunities in the north in the engineering/ energy sectors and I'm particularly keen to help where there are clear opportunities to use innovation as a means of bringing more international trade opportunities to the area.
My weekly CNSRP updates are intended to be short and informative, and the same applies to this quick review of 2018 as it relates to the work of CNSRP! Our focus this year has remained on those key opportunities we feel will bring us maximum economic and socio-economic returns. And, amidst wider economic uncertainties, we continue to see good progress.
Weeks commencing 10th & 17th December 2018. UKVL Sutherland: The UKVL team was in Tongue last week to hold another drop-in session to update local residents on progress with the project.
Weeks commencing 26th November and 3rd December 2018 UKVL Sutherland: I was delighted to take part in a discussion this week in Thurso with Trudy Morris of Caithness Chamber, the HIE team taking forward the UKVL project and UK/ US representatives from Lockheed Martin. As I have previously highlighted here, Lockheed Martin are one of the two industry partners involved in the project, and their vast experience of launch and satellite technology was clear as we discussed opportunities for the local supply chain as well as exciting opportunities to bring a long-term Lockheed Martin presence into Caithness and North Sutherland.
Week Commencing 26tg November 2018 Energy & Business Services: Following last week's Offshore Wind Week Crown Estate Scotland has just published its report into future licensing rounds for offshore wind leases. http://www.crownestatescotland.com/media-and-notices/news-media-releases-opinion/timescales-and-next-steps-for-new-offshore-wind-leasing-for-scotland at the same time it has been interesting to note that Highland Council's north planning committee this week agreed to raise no objection to the application by Moray West for an offshore windfarm off the Caithness coast.
Weeks Commencing 12th and 19th November 2018 Energy & Business Services: My colleague Keith Muir and I met up last week with the directors of JGC Engineering Services Ltd to catch up on current and future plans, which have been boosted by the news I shared recently that JGC has been awarded a contract by Siemens Transmission and Distribution relating to the Triton Knoll offshore windfarm project of the east coast of England. Siemens is also the turbine provider for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm off the Caithness coast.
Energy & Business Services: I met up this week with Stephen Sutherland, Chair of Caithness Chamber of Commerce and director at JGC Engineering & Technical Services, at a tourism-related session hosted by the Chamber Board (see below for more). Stephen told me about the fantastic news that JGC has been awarded a contract by Siemens Transmission and Distribution relating to the Triton Knoll offshore windfarm project of the east coast of England.
Weeks commencing 15th & 22nd October. Energy & Business Services: Cavendish Dounreay Partnership, the Parent Body Organisation at Dounreay, made a significant announcement last week on opportunities for its workforce .(https://www.gov.uk/government/news/dounreay-management-makes-long-term-employment-commitment-to-workforce), which included a commitment to "develop training and support programmes to put individuals in the strongest possible position to move into another local job with one of the growing industries such as space or renewable energy.
Weeks commencing 17th September- 1st October 2018. Energy & Business Services: CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise, in association with the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and Scottish Government, has launched a programme called "Fit For Offshore Renewables (F4OR)." This is a service to help the UK supply chain get ready to bid for work in the offshore renewable energy sector.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has made leadership changes in Caithness and Sutherland, following the recent announcement of plans to create a spaceport near Tongue. Roy Kirk has moved from his role as area manager to become project director for the new spaceport, where he will lead HIE's plans to develop the new satellite launch facility.
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