Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
20th April 2018
Week commencing 16th April 2018
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
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. Adverts have been appearing in the press and on social media, and you can see further details of the job role at http://www.cnsrp.org.uk/independent-chair/ I was also pleased to have a short piece on our recruitment in today's John O’ Groat Journal. The closing date for expressions of interest will be Friday April 27th at 3pm.
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:
Steve Barron, Chief Executive of CNSRP partner Highland Council, was in Caithness this week at the invitation of Thurso & West Caithness ward members (Cllrs Struan Mackie, Karl Rosie, Matthew Reiss and Donnie Mackay). I was delighted to accept their invitation to a round table discussion on the area economy, which was hosted by Scrabster harbour Trust and also drew together Phil Craig (Dounreay Managing Director) and Jennifer Simpson (BBM Solicitors representing Caithness Chamber of Commerce). It was a really useful chance to talk about some of the challenges and opportunities we all recognise, and particularly good to have Phil Craig highlight the continuing pivotal role our Dounreay alliance partners play in the CNSRP.
I was delighted to be invited to a workshop this week with Scottish Government colleagues, focusing on regional inclusive growth. This is a growing area of interest, and I was able to outline the approach being taken in the Caithness and North Sutherland area, emphasising our focus on key economic opportunities and the enabling activities to remove barriers to participation and increasing levels of productivity.
A reminder that CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise is currently seeking Board members to serve for a three year period. Further info and how to apply is at http://news.hie.co.uk/all-news/board-members-wanted-for-highlands-and-islands-enterprise/ with a deadline for applications of 24th April.
This and my previous updates are also available to view on the Partnership's Blog on our CNSRP website at
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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