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
Start-up businesses in the Outer Hebrides could receive a welcome injection of capital from a new joint initiative by Business Gateway Outer Hebrides and Highlands and Islands enterprise. The Outer Hebrides Young Entrepreneur Start-Up Scheme (OHYESS), will provide grants of up to £2,500 to support entrepreneurs age 18-40 to set up businesses in key sectors across the Outer Hebrides.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has welcomed an international technology-led services and payments specialist as the newest tenant to Thurso Business Park. The agency has developed the park to enable local firms to expand and to attract new companies into the area.
Residents of Britain's most remote inhabited island have stepped up efforts to move towards a cleaner energy system. The people of Foula off Shetland have signed up to the Clean Energy Transition Pledge, which commits them to producing a decarbonisation plan over the next 12 months.
The authors of far-reaching 2018 report on potential investment priorities at Cairngorm Mountain have reviewed and updated their findings. US-based consultants SE Group were commissioned last year by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), owner of Cairngorm estate.
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.
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.
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