Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
27th October 2018
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. Importantly, there will also be a job offer with one of Dounreay's parent companies for any DSRL staff member who wishes to receive one."
A good session last week with the Board of Wick Harbour Authority as we look at ways of supporting the ongoing economic growth taking place around the harbour area. The Authority has worked extremely hard to maximise the opportunities around offshore wind, and it is easy to see the transformational effect that the Beatrice project is having on the harbour area. We continue to look at ways of ensuring that the harbour can continue to grow its important role in delivering onshore economic benefit.
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 on the Dounreay site last week to deliver presentations on the work of CNSRP to workforce audiences. Myself and Simon Middlemas delivered the penultimate in our 2018 series of presentations, and it was good to see some people returning to hear what we had to say, having attended presentations from us in previous years. Cavendish Dounreay Partnership made its announcement on future employment opportunities for its workforce this week (see above). Our final presentation will be delivered in the coming weeks. Simon and I also this week delivered our presentation to a group of students and staff from North Highland College UHI Thurso.
It was good to meet Paul Vallance, NDA's Director of Communications, this week during his visit to Caithness. Together with representatives of the Dounreay Stakeholders Group we discussed the current range of priorities on the CNSRP programme, and were pleased to hear of NDA's continuing commitment to working with CNSRP partners.
I was delighted this week to accept the offer to become HIE’s Area Manager for Caithness and Sutherland - as you may know I have been "acting up" in this role for the past 7 weeks following Roy Kirk’s move to become Director for the UKVL project, but I’m delighted to have been appointed following a publicly-advertised recruitment process. Thank you to everyone who has been in touch to offer congratulations! CNSRP partners are committed to continuing the important work of the Partnership, so I’m looking forward to helping ensure that happens. http://news.hie.co.uk/all-news/eann-appointed-area-manager-in-caithness-and-sutherland/
And in my role as HIE Area Manager I was able to attend the 12th annual "Business in the Parliament" conference held yesterday (Friday) in the Scottish Parliament. The event celebrated the Year of Young People 2018, and featured two inspirational presentations from school Young Enterprise teams from Aberdeen and Kirkwall in front of First Minster Nicola Sturgeon MSP and a large audience (see my online blog for photo).
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
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 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.
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.
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