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
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.
Twelve Highland business leaders have been selected to take part in the next IMPACT30 programme. The programme aims to support the next generation of business leaders, by providing personalised support, coaching and mentoring responsive to their unique growth needs.
An extended online portal that helps small to medium enterprises in the Highlands and Islands find new business opportunities from large contracts, will be launched on Thursday (4 April 2019). The Open4Business (O4B) portal was originally set up in 2012 by SSE to link supply chain firms with large SSE construction projects.
Week Commencing 25th March 2019 SpaceHub Sutherland: The team's weekly presence in Tongue continued this week, and June Love from the team also delivered a presentation on the project to members of the Thurso & Wick Trades Union Council at its meeting this week. I attend all of the Trades Council's meetings, so it was good to hear the unanimously positive reaction to June's update from members (see Communications below for feedback on my discussion with members).
Architects have been appointed to design the spaceport that is being developed to launch small satellites from the Highlands. Development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is leading the £17.5m Space Hub Sutherland project, including a £2.5m grant from the UK Space Agency (UKSA).
Three inspirational coaches will lead the latest edition of the Pathfinder programme which aims to put businesses in the Highlands and Islands on the fast track to success. A 12-week accelerator course hosted by entrepreneurial experts Steve Thomas, Danny Meaney, and Dr Andy Kelly offers a unique opportunity for businesses to pressure test their ideas and hone the perfect pitch.
Weeks commencing 4th & 11th March 2019. SpaceHub Sutherland: Further community engagement events have taken place this week - a drop-in event was held in Tongue on Wednesday, followed by a further drop-in event in Wick on Thursday.
Did you know that France is looking for dairy products, the demand for craft beer is high in Thailand, and Switzerland is in need of engineering services? You can find out where in the world the demand for your product or service is on the Department of International Trade website. With over 17,000 export sales lead, you can also pitch your company to overseas buyers who are looking for products and services like yours.
Over the years, we have helped many companies throughout the Highlands and Islands to explore their exporting potential and be business brave. In our latest film, which has been viewed over 1,600 times already on Facebook, we featured just a small selection of these businesses.
Week Commencing 25 February 2019 Energy & Business Services: The Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project has passed the 75% mark in its construction phase with the installation this week of the 63rd of 84 turbines The company is also currently advertising for a Wind Turbine Engineer to be based at Wick. http://ssejobs.co.uk/caw/en/job/519979/wind-turbine-engineer Enabling activities: Caithness Chamber of Commerce - in its role as Europe Direct Information Centre (EDIC) for the North Highlands, Orkney and Shetland - hosted a Brexit Business Breakfast in Thurso today (Friday).
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