Weekly Update, 5th July 2010

  • The Stage 1 application for European funding for a workforce transition programme has been approved. This is extremely good news, and now allows the group of agencies and local bodies that met to develop the initial proposal to work up a more detailed bid in time for the next deadline of mid August. The bid was submitted by Skills Development Scotland.
  • Together with various members of the Dounreay Stakeholders Group I met with a representative of the Caithness Solutions consortium that is bidding to become the next Parent Body Organisation for Dounreay.
  • The Scottish Government has announced a new fund to help rural areas gain enhanced broadband connectivity with support from the EU LEADER fund. This is a key opportunity for us in the north, and I have been raising awareness of such opportunities with agencies and the business community. My colleague Koreen MacDougall from The Caithness Partnership has been involved with community level issues. The IT connectivity group brought together to address these issues may have an important role in moving forward with this opportunity. See this link for more detail: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2010/07/01112117
  • Scottish Government Energy Minister Jim Mather was in Caithness this week. He visited Scrabster harbour, where he met with Harbour Trust staff and Board members, as well as funding bodies working with the Trust on its multi-million redevelopment programme. An STV report on the visit reports the Minister as saying that “Scrabster has a central role in realising Scotland’s renewable energy ‘revolution.'” http://news.stv.tv/scotland/185616-minister-scrabster-has-central-role-in-green-revolution/
  • HIE announced this week that Alex Paterson will be the organisation’s new Chief Executive. He is currently HIE’s Director of Regional Competitiveness.