Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
28th April 2019
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 overall value of the framework could be up to £400M, and could last from 4-7 years. Six contracts have been awarded, bringing together a total of 28 companies. All companies bidding to be part of the framework were also required to submit a socio-economic plan detailing how their work would help to create a positive legacy for Caithness and north Sutherland. More at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/supply-chain-to-play-key-role-in-decommissioning-projects-at-dounreay
I'm delighted to say that Peter Faccenda started work in his new role as CNSRP Manager this week. Peter will be based from the HIE office in Thurso, and has already begun to meet with partners as he gets up to speed with the current and future activities of CNSRP.
Tuesday 30th April is the deadline for any food and drink companies to register for the biennial Showcasing Scotland event at Gleneagles in October. Delivered in partnership by Scotland Food & Drink and Scottish Development International, Showcasing Scotland 2019 offers three days of events which will showcase the very best of Scotland's produce, help to build new trade relationships and secure future business. The previous event in 2017 saw nearly 2,000 one-to-one sessions and business visits for buyers, resulting in over £60m of sales across all key markets. For more details and to register see http://www.showcasingscotland.com/
The last two weeks have seen further Community Planning activities in Caithness. I chaired a further meeting of the Caithness Community Planning Partnership, where for the first time we were able to begin interrogating the data emerging from the work being done on the ground in our four Locality Plan areas (Wick, Thurso, Castletown, Lybster/ Dunbeath/ Berriedale) and looking at where actions might help. The Locality groups for Wick, Thurso and Castletown also met to continue this work. The documents summarising the initial data from the four localities is now held on the Caithness CPP website at http://www.highlandcpp.org.uk/locality-plans-caithness.html
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:
This week, together with colleagues on the Dounreay Stakeholder Group, I met with Tony Perry, the NDA's new Head of Programme for Dounreay. It was an excellent opportunity for us to talk about key issues for the local area, and to highlight the importance of up to date data on Dounreay decommissioning (such as a Dounreay people plan). And today a small group of DSG representatives also met with Richard Leonard MSP, leader of Scottish Labour, and again discussed a range of opportunities and issues in the area.
Eann Sinclair - Area Manager, Caithness & Sutherland
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.
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.
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.
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