Weekly update, 21st July

Energy & Business services:

Pelamis Wave Power has issued a project update on its Farr Point project off the coast of north Sutherland. The company reports on the results consultation work and survey work in support of its likely application later this year to Marine Scotland for a 10MW array of Pelamis wave devices.

Tourism, Food & Drink:

The North Highland Initiative is planning a Children’s Food Festival in June next year. The event, which will be held in association with Scotland Food & Drink and will take place against the backdrop of the Year of Food & Drink in 2015.

Enabling activities:

The Peatlands Partnership is inviting contractors to tender for the restoration of 307 hectares of damaged peatland within the Flow Country. The restoration work is part of the £9.6 million pound “Flow to the Future” programme that recently received confirmation of a £4.3 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.  The tenders are for the initial phase of work which will start the tree harvesting and the restoration of water tables in the Dyke and Forsinain plantations in Sutherland.  These areas are part of RSPB’s Forsinard Flows Nature Reserve.  The felling work is open to competitive tender via the Public Contracts Scotland website. The Partnership knows from past experience that there are many capable contractors based in Caithness and Sutherland.  One of the useful aspects of this project is that it runs for 5 years and so offers good opportunities for continuity of employment for that period.

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:

  • The CNSRP Delivery Group met this week to discuss progress with our ongoing programme of work, and to agree work being carried out on CNSRP’s behalf by Simon Middlemas, who is working for Cavendish Dounreay Partnership. I reported to members that so far in 2014/15 around 20 companies have committed to creating or retaining 103 full-time equivalent jobs in the area. The CNSRP Delivery Plan outlines targets of between 359 and 479 jobs by March 2017.
  • I also attended this week’s meeting of Dounreay Stakeholder Group’s socio-economic subgroup, at which my quarterly written report was tabled for discussion. This included the above update on progress with jobs. Members also heard updates from the Dounreay Socio-economic alliance (DSRL, NDA, PBO) and Caithness Chamber of Commerce. 
  • I contributed an article to the edition of Scottish Provincial Press’ “Energy North” Supplement, which is issued this week with all SPP newspapers in the Highlands. The article focused on the first fruits of our efforts in inward investment in the energy sector with last week’s opening of Process Safety Solutions’ new office in Wick.