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
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 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.
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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