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Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update

1st June 2019

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. As previously highlighted here, Moray East (a partnership of EDP Renewables and Engie) was consented by Scottish Government in 2014, and received a Contract for Difference (CfD) offer in the UK Government's 2017 auction round. At 950MW the development is larger than Beatrice, and initial works will take place to the south-east of the Beatrice turbines. http://www.morayoffshore.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/NOO-2019-05-27.pdf

With all the recent attention on offshore wind it is good to note that tidal energy continues to develop. Simec Atlantis Energy (SAE), the owners of the MeyGen tidal project off the north coast of Caithness, has signed an agreement with GE. The two companies have been working together for some time to develop SAE's AR2000 turbine, which will become the world's largest tidal turbine. https://marineenergy.biz/2019/05/14/atlantis-and-ge-to-build-worlds-largest-tidal-turbine/?uid=532&emarkconv=997F94F1090F1026350821F532F635805488F306292 and I was delighted to accept an invitation this week to visit Gills Harbour to meet members of the community-owned company. We discussed recent developments in tidal energy, and the key role Gills plays in servicing current vessel movements in the local area.

Enabling activities:

Fibre Broadband continues to be rolled out in the area with another two cabinets live on the Wick exchange serving premises in Papigoe and Staxigoe. Remember that you have to order a fibre-based service by contacting your telecoms provider as it is not an automatic upgrade. To check if you can order a fibre broadband service visit www.hie.co.uk/fibre

Communications:

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. We also speak on a regular basis to individuals and organisations across the area to update on progress.

This week:

I met with CNSRP Manager Peter Faccenda and independent CNSRP Chair Ian Ross in Thurso this week, as CNSRP continues to move forward with its programme of activities in support of a sustainable post-Dounreay economy. There are a number of current projects being taken forward, and I look forward to working with both over the coming months and years to continue the collaborative approach that has served us well.

The latest results from HIE's Business Panel Survey (http://news.hie.co.uk/all-news/more-firms-prepare-for-brexit-as-confidence-and-optimism-decline/) have been widely publicised this week. Key headlines are that there has been a welcome increase in the proportion of Highlands and Islands businesses making preparations for Brexit, but that there has been a decline in the number of businesses expressing confidence in their future prospects (from 80% to 70%). You can find out more about the HIE Business Panel at http://www.hie.co.uk/business-support/online-business-panel.html

The HIE Strengthening Communities Conference took place this week in Aviemore, and attracted delegates from across the UK and beyond. It was particularly good to see the work of the Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust being highlighted at the event, and this short video illustrates the role that social enterprises can play in place-based development. https://youtu.be/wLmYZVFZTok

Again last week I supported the consultation programme taking place as part of the Peatlands Partnership’s move to propose UNESCO World Heritage status for the peatlands of Caithness and Sutherland. The programme of drop-in events ends today (Friday) but responses are still encouraged via this online link http://consult.highland.gov.uk/portal/environment/flow_country_whs/flow_country_whs and for more information on the World Heritage proposal see http://www.theflowcountry.org.uk/world-heritage-site/



Previous updates are also available to view on the Blog Page of the CNSRP website at http://www.cnsrp.org.uk/blog/ as well as the main social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). I hope you find this useful - if you would prefer not to receive this then please reply to this message with the word "unsubscribe" in the Subject box.

Eann Sinclair - Area Manager, Caithness & Sutherland, HIE

 

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