Weekly Update, 30th April 2012

Energy:
I took part in a one-day event on “Business opportunities with academia” this week. The event was held in Orkney as part of the much larger International Conference on “Environmental Interactions of Marine Renewable Energy Technologies”, and was led by Energy North. A number of useful contacts made, and useful discussions with colleagues from Orkney Islands Council and National Grid amongst others. A key message from National Grid was the high level of grid connection applications from Caithness. Several Caithness companies were represented at the event.

Tourism:
Another new business has opened in Wick. MUT Watersports is based at Wick Harbour, offering both watersports and chandlery services, and aiming to target business from the Wick marina development. Owner Hugh Mackay also runs Mackay Underwater Technology, and has been a provider of training and support services in marine and underwater disciplines since that company’s formation in 2007.

Enabling activities:
Following last week’s CNSRP Executive Board meeting I have taken forward discussions with partners on several aspects of work including skills development, physical infrastructure and transport.

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. I also speak on a regular basis to individuals and organisations across the area to update on progress. This week:

  • Following the results of this week’s elections, Highland Councillors will select local members to represent the Council on the CNSRP Advisory Board. The Convener of the Highland Council has for the last 4 years chaired the Advisory Board. Pending the confirmation of who will be selcted to represent the Council, existing members of the Advisory Board have agreed to postpone their meeting until August, by which time representatives can be selected and properly briefed on the Partnership and its activities. Apart from Highland Councillors the Advisory Board also brings together representatives of organisations such as community councils, trades unions, Chamber of Commerce, North Highland College, Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd, Dounreay Stakeholder Group, Scottish Natural Heritage, Caithness Partnership and harbour trusts.