Weekly Update, 4th November

Energy/ Business Services:

I met this week with colleagues from HIE and NDA as we discussed with a local business its exciting growth plans. As part of our ongoing focus on key projects it was good to be able to offer a joined-up approach to potential support, and I look forward to helping bring the project forward over the coming months.

Tourism Food & Drink:

Delighted to hear from Ewan Kearney of Natural Retreats that the company has further expanded the range of services it can offer at the newly-opened development at John O’Groats.  Meeting/ function space is now available at the Natural Retreats development, offering a new dimension to potential visitors.

Enabling Activities:

I met this week with colleagues from Highland Council’s Planning & Development team to discuss updates to the Council’s Onshore Vision for Marine Energy, an update on which will be given to the Caithness & Sutherland Area Committee of the Highland Council on 18th November. We spoke in particular about our abilities to utilise data gathered through industrial and business land audits as we continue to join up our inward investment efforts. I also met this week with Cllr Deirdre Mackay, who chairs the Committee.

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:

  • A brochure highlighting progress on CNSRP priorities was issued last week, and it has been encouraging to hear a number of positive responses to it this week. We were pleased to be able to include in it a very welcome endorsement of progress written by John Swinney MSP, Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment & Sustainable Growth. A link to an online version is now available on the CNSRP website at http://www.cnsrp.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Annual-Review-final.pdf
  •  I met today (Friday) with Lesley Cranna from SNH and heard updates on several projects, including encouraging progress with the multi-million pound “Flows to the Future” project.
  •  I also attended this week’s meeting of the Dounreay Stakeholder Group’s socio-economic subgroup, at which I updated members on current activities. My quarterly written report to the group is available to view at http://www.dounreaystakeholdergroup.org/files/downloads/download2420.pdf