Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
30th March 2018
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. More on this news at http://renews.biz/110600/mitsubishi-makes-moray-move/ and further background on the project is at http://www.morayoffshore.com/moray-east/the-project/ Further interesting news has recently come with the announcement of a potential "Sector Deal" for offshore wind - see communications below for more.
Wick John O Groats Airport Consultative Committee met this week in the airport. The Committee brings together representatives from carriers Eastern/ Flybe and Loganair, as well as Far North Aviation and local community/ business stakeholders. It was useful to hear of the early views of the carriers following the changes to alliances last Autumn that saw Eastern partnering with Flybe, following the end of the latter's partnership with Loganair. I was particularly interested to hear about the rise in leisure-based traffic on the Wick-Edinburgh service, with groups booking weekend trips to the capital. The Committee is managed by Caithness Chamber of Commerce on behalf of Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd.
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 was lucky enough to have a chance to talk to members of the Highland Youth Parliament's Caithness area forum when it met in Wick recently. Before our very productive discussion on opportunities for the area, the members had spent a morning creating a short video on an issue of their choice - which was transport. It can be viewed at https://m.facebook.com/WickYouthDevelopment/
The latest edition of the Energy North supplement produced by Scottish Provincial Press is out this week. It carries an interesting piece on the development of a "Sector deal" between the offshore wind industry and the UK Government. Scottish Renewables is calling it an opportunity to build on the success of existing projects such as the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project off the Caithness coast. Online link in next week's update!
The Highlands and Islands Food & Drink Awards are open for nominations, with a range of categories covering all aspects of the industry. Of particular note this year is the Young Ambassador award, reflecting the fact that 2018 is the Year of Young People. You can find out how to nominate someone at http://www.hifoodanddrinkawards.com/
Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership
Tel: 01847 805211
Mob: 07717 694055
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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