Weekly update, 9th June

Energy & Business Services:

I took part in a CNSRP event in Aberdeen this week with HIE colleague Roy Kirk. The influencers’ event, run in association with the Scottish Council for Development & Industry (SCDI), attracted around 80 business representatives including many from the energy sector and featured guest speaker Robin Watson, Chief Executive of Wood Group PSN. We have previously worked with SCDI on similar events in Aberdeen and London as we continue to promote the value of doing business from the north. In addition we met two potential inward investors to the area, with whom discussions are progressing very well.

 

Moray Offshore Renewables’ consented project in the Moray Firth has been making progress again, with news this week that a research ship has commenced geo-technical surveying work at the large site in order to further inform engineering design for the project. First power is now expected from the project in 2018.

 

Pelamis Wave Power has announced another milestone for its P2 wave device. The two P2 devices currently being tested at EMEC’s Billia Croo site off Orkney’s west coast have reached a combined 10,000 hours of grid-connected operation. As previously highlighted, earlier this year Pelamis ran consultation events in North Sutherland and in Caithness to support the development of its application to build out a wave site at Farr Point, off the north coast of Sutherland. It expects to submit its application later this year.

 

Enabling activities:

Staff from Scottish Development International, the Scottish Government’s inward investment organisation, have been in Caithness week learning more about the area’s assets.

 

Caithness Chamber of Commerce – supported by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Cavendish Dounreay Partnership – has launched its Innovation Challenge 2014. The competition to support new business ideas is open to business ideas that can operate in Caithness/North Sutherland, and prizes include up to £10,000 investment, a £10,000 working capital loan, 12 months’ business mentoring and 12 months’ office accommodation in Thurso. Deadline for submission of ideas is Monday 7th July, and details of how to apply are here. The Chamber has also launched its George Bruce Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for 2014. Entry forms are available here.

 

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:

 

  • Good to see further recognition for the great work being done by Natural Retreats and Heritage GB at John O’Groats. The John O’Groat Journal carries news of the award to project architects GLM for the development of the Inn at John O’Groats as winner of the Regeneration category at the Scottish Design Awards.