Weekly Update, 18th June 2012

Energy:
Scottish Hydro Electricity Transmission Ltd (SHETL) has published consultation information on their proposed plans for upgrades required on the transmission network between Dounreay and Mybster (on the Causeymire). The information is downloadable at http://www.sse.com/DounreayMybster/ and staff from the company will hold public exhibitions on the proposals on Wednesday 4th July at Caithness Horizons, Thurso (2pm-7pm) and Thursday 5th July at the Ulbster Arms hotel, Halkirk (2pm-7pm). In the meantime Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) launches at an event in Inverness tomorrow its online procurement portal for supply chain companies seeking to tender for work with the company.

Meygen, the leaseholders for the 400MW tidal site in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth, are holding a public exhibition today (Wednesday) in Canisbay Hall, from 2pm-8pm to update the public on progress with plans for device deployment at the site as the company prepares to submit its consents applications. Dan Pearson, Meygen’s Chief Executive, spoke to an audience of local stakeholders yesterday and outlined the planned deployment schedule for its devices.

DSRL’s apprentice training team has relocated into the new Engineering Technology & Energy Centre at North Highland College in Thurso, offering further support for the delivery of training at the Centre’s state-of-the-art facilities. The move is highlighted in this week’s local press, with comment from Alan Ogg of NHC and Roger Hardy of DSRL. http://www.johnogroat-journal.co.uk/News/Dounreay-apprentice-team-in-North-Highland-College-move-19062012.htm

Enabling Activities:
I met this week with Graham Campbell, Business Development Manager with the Scottish Qualifications Authority to discuss his role in the Highlands & Islands. We covered a range of issues including SQA’s role in helping identify relevant qualifications to support developing industry needs, and issues relating to employability.

A reminder that Caithness Chamber’s “Innovation Challenge” has a public information day next week for prospective applicants. It will be held at Dounreay’s public information office in Olrig Street, Thurso on Tuesday 26th June (10am-12pm). More info on this competition from http://investcaithness.com/innovation-challenge

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:

  • Wick’s Diamond Jubilee HarbourFest attracted sunny weather and a large crowd estimated at 5,000 last weekend, with many of the attractions, such as Caithness Chamber’s “Taste the True North” food & drink hall with its range of local producers being busy throughout Saturday’s main event.
  • Almost 200 people turned out last Friday night to hear Rob Arthur of Thurso Cinema Ltd discuss plans to reopen the Thurso Cinema facility. The plans were given support from those present, and local press coverage highlights the welcomes given. http://www.johnogroat-journal.co.uk/News/August-opening-target-for-new-cinema-at-Thurso-20062012.htm and http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/2816452
  • Local company JPL Shellfish is growing its workforce as it responds to demand from international markets. The Scrabster-based company has received grant funding from HIE to support its growth plans. http://www.johnogroat-journal.co.uk/News/Caithness-shellfish-firm-set-to-grow-20062012.htm
  • Scottish Provincial Press’s “Energy North” supplement was published last week with an article I contributed. It is now online at http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/launch.aspx?referral=other&pnum=&refresh=2q0K1Qi6Tz70&EID=6e472d26-4da2-4a3d-a7ec-a15ffd45ef32&skip=