Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
30th November 2018
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. As previously highlighted here both the Beatrice and Moray East offshore windfarm companies have already received consent to develop, and have each attracted funding via the UK Government's Contracts for Difference programme. The Moray East project expects to reach its final investment decision by the end of this year, and was this week given a boost with the announcement of financing from a syndicate of 16 banks https://renews.biz/50289/cash-delight-for-moray-east/
Myself and Simon Middlemas gave a presentation on the work of CNSRP to around 150 5th and 6th year students at Thurso High School this week. We once again focused on the opportunities we see in the area economy over the coming years, highlighting choices for young people. We have completed a number of presentations to groups during this year, including school years, College staff/ students and Dounreay workforce, and it has been good to see the level of interest and engagement in the opportunities we present.
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 Highland Council's North Planning Committee has approved plans by Whitbread - the owners of the Premier Inn chain of hotels - to build an 81 bed Premier Inn on vacant land beside Thurso Railway Station. Groundworks are expected to begin early next year. https://www.johnogroat-journal.co.uk/News/Planning-permission-for-Thurso-Premier-Inn-granted-27112018.htm
Area Manager, Highlands and Islands Enterprise
Tollemache House, High Street, Thurso KW14 8AZ
Tel: 01847 805211
Mob: 07717 694055
Week commencing 11 February 2019. SpaceHub Sutherland: The SHS team are holding more events this week - in both the Melness Community Centre (Tuesday 19th February, 15.30-20.00) and the Pentland Hotel, Thurso (Wednesday 20th February, 15.30-20.00).
Weekly update from CNSRP - week commencing 4th February 2019. SpaceHub Sutherland: The SHS team were in the Kyle Community Centre in Tongue for the first of a planned weekly presence in the area on Wednesdays between 1000 to 1300 hrs to allow people to meet with the project team.
Week Commening 27 January 2019 SpaceHub Sutherland: The SHS team were in Melness yesterday (Thursday 31 January 2019), continuing its series of engagement events with the local community. The drop-in event was in Melness Village Hall and had the additional benefit of personnel from Lockheed Martin being present to help answer questions on the project.
Week Commencing 21 January 2019 SpaceHub Sutherland: The team working on this exciting project have now created a web presence at www.spacehubsutherland.com which will be a central resource for information about the project as it progresses. And the team will be on the ground in Melness next week, continuing the series of engagement events with the local community.
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.
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.
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