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Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update

9th October 2018

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. Based on the success of the Fit for Nuclear (F4N) programme, which has helped more than 700 companies through the initial self-assessment and granted F4N status to around 150 manufacturers, ORE Catapult is working with industry to develop F4OR as a pilot programme. The overall objective of the programme is to increase competitiveness to support the continued cost reduction in offshore renewables whilst simultaneously securing long-term economic benefits. For more information, and to submit an expression of interest in the programme, see

It's great to see the BT operation in Thurso seeking to recruit more staff - the Thurso operation is an increasingly important facility for BT, reflected in its announcement earlier this year that it was making many of its Thurso-based staff direct BT employees, rather than employed through contractor Manpower. You can see the vacancies currently being advertised at

Enabling activities:

The Annual "Taste North" event returned to the area again on the last weekend of September, with the 2018 venue being the Natural Retreats complex at John O' Groats. Despite the blustery conditions the event was packed with members of the public and a fantastic range of businesses from across the north Highland area and demonstrations from local and national figures. You can see an excellent selection of the businesses participating (and event photos) by visiting the organisation's Facebook page at


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:

The CNSRP Advisory Board met last week, and heard an update on the rollout of superfast fibre broadband in the north from HIE's Nick Scroggie and Carol Gunn. Members also discussed progress with other elements of the CNSRP programme, welcoming further positive news from Scrabster Harbour Trust and from the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project, as well as formally welcoming the announcement over the summer of the funding for the UKVL project in north Sutherland.

It was great to be in Wick yesterday (Monday 8th) to deliver presentations on the work of CNSRP to audiences of senior phase students from Wick High School. It's particularly good to receive questions from students, whose perspective on what we do as partners is often very different to those of other local audiences. Myself and Simon Middlemas continue our series of presentations this Friday with two separate sessions back out on the Dounreay site.

The multi-million pound upgrade of the electricity transmission network in Caithness has brought significant economic benefit to the area over the past five years, with a massive infrastructure to reinforce the onshore line to Beauly, and the creation of a new Caithness - Moray subsea link. It is therefore good to see the recent news that the construction of the new Thurso South substation had "swept the boards" at the BIG Biodiversity Awards following SSEN’s efforts to protect the increasingly rare great yellow bumblebee.

Also it was great to see Caithness and Sutherland companies as Finalists and Winners at the annual Highland Business Awards, which came at the end of another very successful Highland Business Week. Scrabster Seafoods won Business of the Year for Caithness and Sutherland, with Ashley Ann winning overall Family Business of the year. Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust’s Beth Symco won Apprentice of the Year, DSRL won the Developing the Young Workforce award for Caithness and Sutherland, and there were Finalist recognitions for Gow’s of Lybster and Loch Duart Ltd. And further successes for local companies at this weekend’s Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards, which took place in Inverness. Wick’s New Wave Foods won Innovation award for its "Shore" range of produce, and Dunnet Bay Distillery also won “Best Distilled” product for its seasonal Lassies’ Toast gin. See more at

This and my previous updates are also available to view on the Blog Page of our CNSRP website at as well as the main social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - details below). I hope you find this useful - if you would prefer not to receive this then please reply to this message with the word "unsubscribe" in the Subject box.

Eann Sinclair

Programme Manager, Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership

Acting Area Manager, Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Tollemache House, High Street, Thurso KW14 8AZ

Tel: 01847 805211

Mob: 07717 694055



Twitter: @eanncnsrp

Instagram: eanncnsrp


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