Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
23rd March 2019
Week commencing 18 March 2019.
Energy & Business Services:
I'm delighted to see yesterday's news that Restore Digital have announced the creation of 39 new job opportunities in Wick. The Restore UK group will already be familiar in Caithness as the operator of the Nucleus facility in Wick, where around 30 people already work in the nuclear and Caithness archive. This new announcement is a real vote of confidence in the area and its people, and I was delighted to bring news of it to today's (Friday's) meeting of the CNSRP Advisory Board (see below for more on that meeting). https://caithness-business.co.uk/article/9290
As colleagues work to prepare for the opening of the UK’s first Newton Room next week at North Highland College UHI in Thurso, the Steering Group for this important project met this week in Thurso. I’ve had the pleasure of chairing the group over the last 12 months, and this week we were able to hold our meeting in the Newton Room itself for the first time. In advance of its official opening the Room hosted some sessions this week as part of well-attended STEM events for S2 High School pupils across Caithness and North Sutherland. These sessions were run by DYW North Highland and attracted stands from a range of local, regional and national businesses/ organisations involved in STEM subject areas.
To celebrate the opening of the Room project leads from the Highlands and Islands Science Skills Academy will be running a public drop-in event from 4pm-6pm next Monday (25th March) - anyone interested in a first look at the facility should go to reception at North Highland College UHI, where they will be directed to the Room.
On a similar theme, this week has also seen further evidence of the fantastic work being done at Wick High School to inspire students to get involved in STEM-related work. This time the student team behind the Light Bike concept were at the UK Big Bang Fair in Birmingham, where their concept bike attracted huge amounts of visitor attention. The concept is just one of a series of Wick successes through the Apps for Good process and using Raspberry Pi technology. More at https://www.johnogroat-journal.co.uk/news/wick-pupils-light-bike-catches-the-eye-at-big-bang-fair-175852/
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 this week, and I was delighted to be able to introduce members to my successor as CNSRP Manager. Peter Faccenda, who lives in Tongue, will officially take up post after Easter, but today was a very important early opportunity to meet members and to gain up to date intelligence on the CNSRP Programme as well as the views of members on progress. Under the Chairmanship of Cllr Matthew Reiss we were also delighted to see new NHS Highland Chief Executive Iain Stewart as he goes round the area.
Area Manager, Caithness & Sutherland
Scotland's enterprise agencies have launched ambitious plans to help build a more economically vibrant country. Collectively, and as part of the broader skills and enterprise community, Scottish Enterprise (SE) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) have set out how they will invest to support sustainable and inclusive growth in every part of Scotland.
In April 2019 Peter Faccenda took over the role of Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership manager. He takes over from Eann Sinclair who was appointment as Caithness and Sutherland area manager for Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
Weeks commencing 20th & 27th May Energy & Business Services: The Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project this week reached an output capacity of 587.9MW (its installed capacity is 588MW), which is the highest output from any renewable source in Scotland. And as the construction phase of the Beatrice Offshore project comes to an end it is good to see that offshore piling operations have begun for the Moray East offshore windfarm development.
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A new £4.5m life sciences building was officially opened at Inverness Campus by the Deputy First Minister Mr John Swinney, on Monday 20 May 2019. Called ‘Solasta House', it offers flexible space for new and expanding technology and life sciences companies and is already home to eight companies and could be 75 percent full by the summer.
SpaceHub Sutherland: The team continued with a programme of drop-in events on the ground around the area this week, running drop-in events at the Village Hall in Skerray and the Kinlochbervie Hotel. For details on the project and the programme of events see http://www.hie.co.uk/regional-information/area-information/caithness-and-sutherland/uk-space-port/community-engagement.html Energy & Business Services: As previously highlighted, a meeting was held in Thurso to highlight the newly-established DeepWind Offshore Supply Chain Cluster.
Week Commencing 29 April 2019. Energy & Business Services: As we see positive progress with the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm development, and the development of both Moray East and West projects, a new initiative to support supply chain companies to learn more about opportunities will be held in Thurso on 13th May.
Weeks commencing 8th-22nd April 2019. Energy & Business Services: It was good to see the announcement this week by Dounreay that its Decommissioning Services Framework had gone live.
The Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards, now in their fifteenth year, will be held on Friday 15 November 2019 at the Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness. With some of the best natural produce in the world, the Awards showcase and celebrate excellence and achievement in the food and drink industry in the region.
Week Commencing 8th April 2019 Energy & Business Services: It was good to see this week in the Press & Journal's Energy Voice a piece confirming the transformational impact that the Beatrice Offshore project is having on Wick. It is a timely reminder that although the £2.6Bn project is nearing the end of its construction phase, the economic impacts in the north will continue over the lifetime of the project through the operations base in the restored harbourfront buildings in Wick, which will be home to around 90 workers.
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