Weekly Update, 21st March 2011

Business Services:
I will be coordinating a meeting this week with representatives from the Pensions Administration Office to update local stakeholders on plans to move the PAO’s base from Thurso to the Forss Business & Technology Park. The work done by staff at the PAO is a good example of the type of high-quality employment we would like to encourage as part of the economic transition process taking place over the coming months and years. Better understanding of the PAO’s developing aspirations will help local partners to offer support where appropriate.

Enabling Activities – Energy:
Good news this week regarding the development of Scrabster harbour – Scottish Government announced £2.2M to support the project’s delivery. This will allow the £20M project to commence. Scrabster Harbour Trust, under William Calder’s Chairmanship, have worked hard with a range of partners such as NDA, HIE, ERDF, Highland Council and Scottish Government to bring this very complex funding package together. It is hoped that the project will now be completed in time for local economic benefit to be derived from the early deployments of renewables in the Pentland Firth. You can read the original news release at  http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2011/03/21134335 and the Highland Council Convener (and CNSRP Advisory Board Chairman) Cllr Sandy Park’s welcome for the news at http://www.highland.gov.uk/yourcouncil/news/newsreleases/2011/March/2011-03-22-10.htm

Communications:
A press release has now been issued by HIE in association with DSRL and Highland Council on the launch of the £110,000 STEM project in Caithness & North Sutherland. You can read it at http://www.hie.co.uk/about-hie/news-and-media/archive/growing-a-new-generation-of-engineers.html