Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
25th August 2018
WeekCommencing 20th August 2018
Energy & Business Services:
Good to see another Beatrice milestone being reached this week, with the news that all of the inter-array cabling for the development has now been completed. With the crew transfer vessels based in Wick now able to use the new pontoon berths at the harbour the project is reaching the critical phase where construction work and operations work are both moving ahead quickly. The Board of Crown Estate Scotland were in Wick this week (see Communications below for more) and were able to make the trip out from Wick to the project site, to see the huge amount of work going on using jack-up vessels like the Pacific Orca. Crown Estate Scotland is currently conducting a consultation into future seabed leasing for offshore projects, with next Friday (31st August) being the deadline for responses. http://www.crownestatescotland.com/media-and-notices/news-media-releases-opinion/have-your-say-on-offshore-wind-leasing-one-month-to-go
One of the area's unsung success stories received some excellent local coverage this week, with Gordon Calder's piece in today's (Friday's) John O Groat Journal on the additional employment being created at AMTE Power Ltd in Thurso. AMTE Power is one of two innovative battery technology companies located on CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise's (HIE’s) Thurso Business Park, with both AMTE (trading as AGM Batteries) and Denchi Power making significant forward progress with their respective products. AMTE took over AGM Batteries in 2013. (http://www.agmbatteries.com/). The current expansion in jobs in Thurso follows a partnership agreed with Qinetiq, and you can read more at https://www.johnogroat-journal.co.uk/News/Jobs-boost-for-AMTE-Power-in-Thurso-23082018.htm
HIE and space industry partners this week began a programme of engagement with communities local to the proposed Sutherland Spaceport. The initial information events were held as drop-in sessions in Melness Hall and Tongue Hall. Staff from CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and space industry partners Lockheed Martin & Orbex Space were present to answer a range of questions from the over 100 people who came to the two events.
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.
I contribute a regular article on CNSRP activities to the bi-monthly "One Dounreay" magazine. Like my contribution to last week’s John O’ Groat Journal, my article for the forthcoming Dounreay magazine will focus on the opportunities that could be delivered through the proposed Spaceport in north Sutherland. (see above for news of the two community information events that took place this week in North Sutherland). You can read my previous contributions to the magazine at https://dounreay.com/news/publications/
It was great to be invited to meet the Board of Crown Estate Scotland during their visit to Wick this week. The Board holds its meetings in a number of locations throughout Scotland, so this was a great chance to talk to Board members about our activities in the north, some of which are already visible to Board members through the organisation’s participation in the CNSRP Advisory Board through senior Energy & Investment Manager John Robertson. The current Chair of CES is Amanda Bryan, who has strong family connections to Caithness
Community consultation on the future shape of health services in Caithness was launched this week, with two sessions aimed at finding out how best to involve the maximum number of local people. NHS Highland says the redesign proposals offer the potential to attract up to £30m of investment to enhance and improve local services, and the consultation period will last until November. https://www.johnogroat-journal.co.uk/News/Calls-for-unity-as-healthcare-meetings-begin-22082018.htm
Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership
Tel: 01847 805211
Mob: 07717 694055