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
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Businesses in the Highlands and Islands looking to develop their use of digital technology and innovation are set to benefit from a new £465,000 support programme. Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) announced the investment on Monday 30 September 2019 at a digital collaboration event to launch the refreshed #hellodigital facility in An Lochran, Inverness.
Fourteen delegates from organisations across Europe that are tackling socio-economic challenges will visit the Highlands this week. The visit is part of the next project meeting of the Support Network for Social Entrepreneurs (SuNSE) and will take place during 1-3 October in Inverness and Sutherland.
Seven community projects are to benefit from over £80k of funding following the Caithness & North Sutherland Fund's latest grant awards. CNSFund Chairperson David Glass said "Our latest funding includes improvements to youth activities, community and recreational facilities as well as progressing an ambitious project to establish a major visitor attraction in Caithness.
The latest Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) Business Panel Survey published today (10 September) shows that 89% of companies across the region are offering benefits such as competitive levels of pay, training and skills development, flexible working and paying the living wage. Over a thousand businesses across the region took part in the latest survey conducted between 10 June and 8 July.
Plans to create a spaceport that will launch communications satellites into orbit from the Moine peninsula in Sutherland are set to be unveiled for discussion at public meetings over the next two months. Development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), which is backing the £17.3m project to design and build Space Hub Sutherland, has today (Wednesday 4 September) lodged a proposal of application notice with the Highland Council.
People with a business idea that will benefit their local community or environment will soon have access to a new programme of support, being launched across the Highlands and Islands. Known as the Social Start-Up School, the innovative programme will be delivering four locally focused initiatives.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise has sold the to the University of the Highlands and Islands in a deal worth £9.83m. Funded by a loan from Scottish Funding Council, the sale will consolidate and help further develop the university's School of Health, Social Care and Life Sciences.
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