Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
1st June 2018
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. More at https://www.johnogroat-journal.co.uk/News/Premier-Inn-planned-for-derelict-Thurso-site-31052018.htm
CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is beginning a programme of events with the Entrepreneurial Academy by running an "Entrepreneurial Sales" workshop in Thurso on 13th June. Workshop presenter will be Matthew of Future Sales Factory, who says "From first handshake to first invoice, those attending the Entrepreneurial Sales workshop will go away with skills that can be implemented in their business straight away." To see further details on the event, and to book a place visit http://www.hie.co.uk/about-hie/events/archive/13-06-2018-entrepreneurial-sales.html
Business Gateway (managed in the Highlands by CNSRP partner Highland Council) continues to run a series of very useful business events, with several coming up in the next few weeks. Of particular interest might be the workshop on “Paths into Public procurement” on 11th June in Wick, which aims to help businesses bid for public sector contracts. More on this at https://www.bgateway.com/events/9443/paths-into-public-procurement
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 really pleased to be asked if I would contribute a regular column on CNSRP-related activities to the John O' Groat Journal/ Caithness Courier, and this week saw the first of the columns appearing in Wednesday's Caithness Courier. I focused on “10 years of CNSRP” and highlighted some of the areas in which partners have been able to help the economic transition of the area. I’m looking forward to having this regular opportunity to keep readers up to date with current activities. I recently wrote an article on the same theme for the Dounreay magazine, and it appears in the latest issue (May 2018). You can find previous issues of the publication at https://dounreay.com/news/publications/
On a related note, Scottish Provincial Press continues to publish its Energy North supplement, to which I have been pleased to contribute in the past. The latest edition is online at https://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/html5/reader/production/default.aspx?pubname=&edid=70cbb702-b278-43e8-ad36-f6bd94e600fb
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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