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
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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