Weekly update, 26th August

Energy/ Business Services:

Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission Ltd (part of the SSE Group) is developing proposals for a new 132kilovolt overhead line between the proposed new Thurso South substation at Geiselittle and a new substation at Phillips Mains near Mey. It has recently published a consultation document on the proposals, which can be viewed at http://www.sse.com/GillsBayRadial/ProjectInformation Two consultation events will be held in Caithness next week: at Mey Hall on Thursday 5th September 11am-2.30pm and 5pm-7.30pm; and in Caithness Horizons, Thurso on Friday 6th September from 3pm-7.30pm

A group of local businesses – including Wick Harbour Authority and Scrabster Harbour Trust – travelled to Lowestoft this week to look in detail at the offshore wind operations base already established there. As our area continues to position itself to become a key base for any offshore wind developments that might be consented in the Moray Firth the trip provided some valuable contacts, and very valuable and practical demonstrations of the type and scale of opportunities possible.

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:

  • Together with local stakeholders I met Prospect General Secretary Mike Clancy, National Secretary Alan Denny and Organiser John Sinclair this week during their visit to Caithness. We gave an update on the range of actions being taken forward to provide future economic opportunities for the area, and heard initial views from the Prospect representatives. It was good to have such a constructive discussion, which opened up fresh ideas on engaging with union members.
  • Caithness Chamber of Commerce board of directors heard a presentation last week from Willie Watt, Chairman of Wick Harbour Authority. The presentation outlined the steps being taken to enable Wick to attract economic benefit from the development of offshore wind in the Moray Firth, but also highlighted the opportunities for other Caithness Ports such as Scrabster and Gills. http://caithnesschamber.com/News/archive/chamber-hears-of-harbours-future-plans
  • Wick High School’s inspirational computer sciences teacher Chris Aitken has been nominated for the TalkTalk Digital Hero award 2013, following the work he and his pupils did on an Apps for Good project, which eventually led to two Wick Teams winning awards from Apps for Good. You can vote for Chris at  http://www.talktalkdigitalheroes.co.uk