Weekly update, 10th November

Energy & Business services:

Andritz Hydro Hammerfest has this week confirmed Meygen’s order for three of its 1.5MW tidal devices, as part of the first phase of deployment for the tidal site in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth. The project reached its financial closure in September this year, with the news that local company JGC Engineering had secured a major supply contract for the devices. Commissioning of the three turbines is scheduled for the end of 2016. http://www.andritz.com/group/gr-news/gr-news-detail.htm?id=31278   Also this week revised plans for onshore facilities in support of the Meygen project were approved by Highland Council’s North Planning Applications Committee.

Tourism, Food & Drink:

Venture North has this week announced a Heritage Lottery Fund award to support the development of a smart-phone Heritage App for the north. The project, which is being run in partnership with Strathnaver Museum, is funded by HLF’s “Sharing Heritage” scheme and by CNSRP partner the NDA. NHC Online (the online development unit of North Highland College UHI) has recently been appointed to develop the mobile application and Strathnaver Museum is consulting with local heritage groups to identify the many interesting and important heritage sites scattered throughout the north to be included on the app. If you have a suggestion of a great place to visit, or an image you would like to share on the mobile app or website, you can submit your nomination on the Heritage North Facebook page, Twitter feed, or directly to fiona@strathnavermuseum.org.uk

Reid’s of Caithness, who have continued to achieve success in UK and international markets for their bakery products, have unveiled an excellent new promotional film on the business and the local area, which can be viewed on Vimeo at http://vimeo.com/111658500

Enabling activities:

A reminder that next Friday (21st November) at 11am sees the North Highland Regeneration Fun (NHRF) AGM. The Fund, which was established by CNSRP partner the NDA to support local businesses, will also be holding its Young Enterprise team awards at 12pm, with the announcement of the winners from a “Dragons’ Den” style session that morning. Caithness Chamber of Commerce is the managing agent for the fund. Information on the Fund is at http://www.nhrf.co.uk/ More detail on the AGM events is at  http://caithnesschamber.com/events/north-highland-regeneration-fund-8th-annual-agm

Also a final reminder that a drop in session and workshop for the Caithness & Sutherland Local development Plan takes place in Caithness Horizons, Thurso next Tuesday (18th November). Other dates and times for the series of events are at http://www.highland.gov.uk/casplan

Highland Council’s North Planning Applications Committee this week noted the NDA’s intention to submit planning application for a multi-million pound Nuclear Archive on land at Wick Industrial Estate. The proposed building will also house the Council’s North Highland Archive. At this week’s meeting of the Dounreay Stakeholder Group’s socio-economic subgroup the NDA’s Anna MacConnell updated members on the timescale for completing the project.

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:

  • I presented a written update report on CNSRP activities to this week’s meeting of the socio-economic subgroup of the Dounreay Stakeholder Group. The report covered the main areas of progress since July, and will be available to view in due course on the DSG website at http://www.dounreaystakeholdergroup.org/documents/ The meeting also heard a very useful update on the socio-economic opportunities from procurements offered by DSRL.
  • I was delighted to take part today (Friday) in a visit to Caithness by STUC General Secretary Grahame Smith and Assistant Secretary Stephen Boyd. The visit was hosted by members of the Thurso & Wick Trades Council, who are members of CNSRP’s Advisory Board. We visited Scrabster Harbour Trust with David Flear, Chair of the Dounreay Stakeholder Group, for an update from SHT’s Manager and Chairman on developments at the port.