Weekly update, 12th November 2012

Enabling activities:
Partners developing a one day event aimed at highlighting current and future job opportunities met this week to agree a revised timetable of work, leading to the staging of an event in February next year. The day will involve businesses, Caithness Chamber of Commerce, agencies such as Job Centre Plus, Skills Development Scotland, Highland Council and HIE, as well as North Highland College and a range of training providers.

Thurso’s Environmental Research Institute this week hosted a visit from delegates from several Chinese Universities. It is hoped that an agreement to collaborate with these Universities will lead to students from China studying at the ERI.

The Caithness & Sutherland Area Committee of the Highland Council meets in Wick on Monday next week, and Councillors will hear a presentation from HIE’s Roy Kirk, as well as discussing and agreeing an update paper on the Council’s “North Highland Onshore Vision” for the growth of the marine energy sector in the area. The ten-point action plan forms part of the overall programme of activities being pursued by CNSRP partners. You can view the Agenda and papers at http://www.highland.gov.uk/yourcouncil/committees/caithnesssutherlandandeasterrossmeetings/caithnesssutherlandareacommittee/2012-11-19-csa-ag.htm and the meeting itself will be webcast from 10.30am on Monday at http://www.highland.public-i.tv/core/ On a related issue the Council’s Planning, Environment & Development Committee has agreed to submit a range of infrastructure and development projects to Scottish Government as part of the review of the national Planning Framework. This includes highlighting the scale and effects of Dounreay decommissioning. http://www.highland.gov.uk/yourcouncil/news/newsreleases/2012/November/2012-11-14-04.htm

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:

  • Members of the HIE Board and Senior staff were in Caithness this week, and a number of businesses and stakeholders attended a business breakfast to meet the Chair, Chief Executive and others to discuss current issues and future plans. http://www.investcaithness.com/news/archive/enterprise-chief-upbeat-about-the-far-north-economy
  • The Caithness & Sutherland Area Committee of the Highland Council meets in Wick on Monday, with economic issues very much to the fore. The Northern Times carries a good summary of issues to be covered at http://www.northern-times.co.uk/News/North-counties-committee-to-focus-on-economy-15112012.htm
  • Visitscotland Chairman Mike Cantley this week praised the progress being made at John O’Groats and at Ackergill. Adding these developments to the branding of Wick John O’Groats Airport he said that “everyone is playing their bit, and there is a lot to be confident about in the county’s future.” (John O’Groat Journal – not online)