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Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update

23rd February 2019

Photograph of Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update

Week Commencing 18th February 2019

SpaceHub Sutherland: The SHS team held two more information events this week - in both the Melness Community Centre and the Pentland Hotel, Thurso. I attended the Thurso event, which saw a steady stream of interested visitors (around 100 in total) asking questions about the background to the project and on the progress it is making. A list of future events can be found at the project's web presence at www.spacehubsutherland.com which will be a central resource for information about the project as it progresses.

Also this week Deimos Space UK has announced it has been awarded financial support from the UK Space Agency to carry out a study into the "range" (the zone of airspace plus air and land area which is subject to restrictions, exclusions and warnings) required for the operation of the launch vehicle scheduled to launch from the Sutherland site by Orbex Space, one of two space industry partners already part of the SHS project. For more information http://www.elecnor-deimos.com/launch-range/

Enabling activities:

Good to see work starting on the project to deliver a realigned section of the A9 Trunk road at Berriedale Braes in Caithness. RJ McLeod (Contractors) Ltd will be carrying out some trial small-scale rock blasting on the A9 at Berriedale in advance of the main works starting later this year. This will take place between 1pm-4pm on 26 February, and may result in short delays of no more than 10 minutes.

Caithness Chamber is working with Caithness Voluntary Group and HIE to run workshops in Thurso and Wick on 27th February. Focusing on "phishing" (where criminals pose as a legitimate institution in order to lure individuals into providing sensitive information), these one hour free sessions will teach attendees the anatomy of a phishing email. Not only that, you'll get a chance to create your very own phishing email - a great way to get a better understanding of the kinds of techniques used in these emails so that you are better prepared to spot them. To book a place check at either https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cyber-sense-on-tour-caithness-chamber-thurso-tickets-54927745365 or https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cyber-sense-on-tour-caithness-voluntary-group-wick-tickets-54975922464

Good to see evidence of the start of local consultations with local people that will feed into a Locality Plan for Wick, which is one of four localities identified in the Caithness Community Plan. The consultation is being led by Jennifer Harvey, one of three Aspiring Communities officers now working in Caithness. Jennifer is based in the Pulteney Centre in Wick, where you can also pick up questionnaires.

Communications:

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: We have extended the deadline for applications to become the new CNSRP Manager to Sunday 24th February. With an ambitious programme of work ahead, this post will provide an excellent opportunity to play a vital part in the move towards a post-Dounreay economy in the north. More details and application form are at http://www.hie.co.uk/about-hie/working-with-hie/job-opportunities.html

A reminder that work continues with businesses in the area to ensure maximum awareness of the need to plan for Brexit. Next week there will be two relevant events, the first of which is a webinar on Monday 2th February aimed at businesses. Delivered by the Institute for Export and International Trade, it will look at issues such as tariffs / duties; supply chains, customs and logistics issues; regulations and documentation; free trade agreements and the origin of goods; risk analysis, considerations and risk mitigation You can register for it at

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3889117060235851777 to receive full joining instructions. HIE also has an excellent self-assessment tool for businesses, together with a range of advice and support, all available at http://www.hie.co.uk/business-support/international-trade-support/preparing-for-brexit.html and we are looking forward to taking part on Friday March 1st in the business breakfast event on Brexit, which is being run by Caithness Chamber of Commerce in its role as a Europe Direct Information Centre. You can book to attend this event at https://www.caithnesschamber.com/events/brexit-business-breakfast

Scottish Provincial Press have issued the latest of its excellent "Energy North" supplement, which is published with all of its titles in the Highlands. Of particular note this time is a piece by Magnus Davidson of the Environmental Research Institute in Thurso highlighting the role the energy sector plays in attracting and retaining young people to and within the north area.

Very disappointing news this week that the Caithness Horizons museum and gallery complex in central Thurso has closed its doors. Initial thoughts are focused on the 7 staff affected (on which subject local PACE partners are actively working.)



Eann Sinclair - Area Manager, Caithness & Sutherland

 

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