Weekly update, 6th October

Energy & Business services:

Following last week’s successful oil & gas event in Aberdeen, HIE’s local business attraction programme continued this week with meetings in London with potential target businesses.

Work continues to finalise attendees for the visit by oil & gas companies to Caithness later this month. As reported last week “the Caithness solution” is a follow-up opportunity for oil & gas companies to visit the area on Tuesday 28th October and see at first hand the facilities on offer. The one day visit will make use of the 35 minute flight time from Aberdeen to Wick. Companies wishing to book a place should email lindsay.foord@hient.co.uk for more details.

Tourism, Food & Drink:

A reminder that two remaining events of this year’s festival calendar take place this month. On 24th-25th October Caithness Horizons hosts the final element of its Year of Ancient Ancestors festival – which has been supported by CNSRP partners DSRL, NDA and Highland Council. More info at http://www.yearofancientancestors.co.uk/ And the UK Pro-Surf Association runs its Thurso Surf Festival from 30th October to 1st November. If the latter event – which is again sponsored by CNSRP partner Highland Council and by SSE –  has waves like those at Thurso East last week it will be a huge spectacle for spectators! https://www.facebook.com/UkProSurfAssociation#!/UkProSurfAssociation/photos/a.517102781684248.1073741829.516804875047372/761239367270587/?type=1&theater

There are also several web seminars planned for this month by Tourism Intelligence Scotland in association with CNSRP partner HIE. These include topics such as the value of music to the tourism product; working with the travel trade; and how to work with changing tourism trends. More information on the events is at  http://tisauth.scotent.net/newsevents/events/2014/10/tune-in-to-tourism

Enabling activities:

The Caithness & North Sutherland Fund has issued a third round of 2014 grant awards. Included in this round is an award to Transport for Tongue to help develop a pilot transport project aimed at allowing students from North Sutherland to attend courses at North Highland College in Thurso. The fund, which is worth up to £4M between 2011 and 2023, was established by CNSRP partners the NDA and DSRL to distribute funding to community organisations for projects that will increase the attractiveness of Caithness & North Sutherland as a place to live, work and invest with particular emphasis on achieving environment, social, culture and infrastructure improvements. For more info on grant awards to date, and on how to apply for funding see http://www.cnsf.org.uk/

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 that work on Thurso Library building is to begin this month, with Caithness contractor O’Brien’s appointed to carry out extensive refurbishment which should see the facility reopen as a community hub in summer 2015.