Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
18th May 2019
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. This is the North of Scotland supply chain cluster (one of 8 in the UK that is being created under the UK Offshore Wind Sector Deal) with the developers that are involved in the projects around the north. It will look at the deep wind opportunity covering both fixed bottom and floating wind and is also looking out to the next offshore wind leasing round (ScotWind). The Cluster also had a presence at the All-Energy exhibition and conference in Glasgow on 14-16 May 2019.
Meanwhile, news that the final batch of Siemens Gamesa turbines had been loaded aboard the Pacific Orca for installation at the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm site off the Caithness coast (https://renews.biz/53014/beatrice-nears-finish-line/) was quickly followed this week by confirmation that the installation process for the 84 turbines has now been completed, bringing an end to this crucial offshore phase of construction. Onshore construction at Wick harbour is also progressing well, with the new Operations base nearing completion. https://www.johnogroat-journal.co.uk/news/beatrice-final-turbine-hailed-as-fantastic-milestone-for-caithness-178057/
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:- It was good to see the positive views of the future expressed by local Highland Councillors at a recent meeting of the Caithness Committee. Previous concerns had been expressed at projections about future population levels in the north, but Councillors pointed out the range of measures being taken forward to ensure that the area remains a great place in which to live, work and study. https://www.johnogroat-journal.co.uk/news/plans-in-place-to-offset-population-decline-177965/
This week saw the start of a consultation programme in support of the Peatlands Partnership's move to propose UNESCO World Heritage status for the peatlands of Caithness and Sutherland. I supported the first drop-in event, which was in the Pulteney Centre, Wick, and this was followed by events in Golspie, Helmsdale, Dunbeath later in the week. For a full list of venues, dates and times see http://www.theflowcountry.org.uk/world-heritage-site/
Eann Sinclair - Area Manager, Caithness & Sutherland
We would like to reassure you that HIE is doing all it can to gather information and work with Scottish Government to ensure that the appropriate support is reaching our communities and local economy. We hope to soon have more detail about how to access the recently announced Scottish Government grants to help communities affected by Covid19 https://www.gov.scot/news/helping-communities-affected-by-covid-19 You will have seen new headlines emerging daily at a national and UK level with proposed measures to help individuals, businesses and communities.
Scotland's two week festival of data was launched on 9th March 2020 by Scottish Government's cabinet secretary for finance Kate Forbes in An Lòchran, Inverness. Now in its fourth year, DataFest will once again showcase Scotland's leading role in data science and artificial intelligence.
Planning permission was granted yesterday for a 32,670 square foot site that will house a distillery, visitor centre and bonded warehouse. The new micro distillery at John O'Groats has secured a grant from Highland and Islands Enterprise of £198,000.
The latest generation of small communications satellites could be launched into Earth orbit from the northern Highlands of Scotland within the next two years. Development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has submitted a planning application for a vertical launch site, Space Hub Sutherland, that it plans to construct on the A' Mhoine peninsula, Melness, near Tongue.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has contracted marketing and business development company, Business and Tourism Solutions (BTS), who will work with Lochaber Chamber of Commerce to deliver the programme. It will provide intensive engagement, support and interventions for around 50 businesses and providers in the sector across the Highland Council area.
The latest generation of small communications satellites could be launched into Earth orbit from the northern Highlands of Scotland within the next two years. The latest generation of small communications satellites could be launched into Earth orbit from the northern Highlands of Scotland within the next two years.
According to the draft Scottish Govenment budget, Highlands and Islands Enterprise will get £58.2 million in the upcoming financial year - down from £61.1 million last year. 2018/19 the budget was £71.7 million.
A Caithness company is planning to invest more than £2m in its Wick plant, in a move that could see up to 40 new jobs created in the town over the next five years. Family-run Ashley Ann Ltd (AAL) designs and manufactures kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms.
The transnational project, called ‘DisruptAqua', is worth €155,000 and is being supported by the European Union's Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme (NPA) 2014-2020. As the demand for fish is increasing, the innovative use of existing and new technologies is required.
Social enterprises are a critical part of the rural economy contributing £250m in the Highlands and Islands and South of Scotland areas. This is according to new figures released by HIE and South of Scotland Economic Partnership (SoSEP).
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