Weekly update, 19th October

Energy & Business Services:

CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) ran an event this week as part of the Nuclear Supply Chain project which it runs jointly with Scottish Enterprise. The project aims to provide practical, independent advice and support to companies wishing to enter the nuclear supply chain for the first time, or to existing supply chain companies wishing to enhance their capabilities. The event was one of a series that have been organised, and it was good to hear that the number of participating companies has increased, perhaps indicating increased interest from companies for whom other energy sector business has previously been more significant. More on the project at http://www.hie.co.uk/growth-sectors/energy/energy-support/nuclear-support.html

In the week that Chinese President Xi Jinping has been in the UK on a state visit, it is interesting to see reports that Chinese state-owned power company China Three Gorges Corporation may take a stake in Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd (MORL). As previously reported, MORL is one of two development consortiums with Scottish Government consent to build offshore windfarms in the Moray Firth. The other developer, Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL), has also received a Contract for Difference (CfD) offer from the UK Government, so MORL awaits further news on future CfD rounds. The onshore economic opportunity from the development of offshore wind is particularly key at Wick harbour, where CNSRP partners have been working with Wick Harbour Authority and developers to attract Operation & Maintenance work to the area. http://renews.biz/100112/china-wades-into-scottish-waters

Atlantis Resources Ltd has been successful in its application to transfer funds awarded by the EU to Marine Current Turbines in order for the funds to be used for the MeyGen project in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth. Atlantis Resources bought MCT from Siemens earlier this year, and will not be going ahead with the proposed Kylerhea tidal project on the west coast at Skye. The funding of up to €16.7M will be used to support the next phase of work (Phase 1B) on the MeyGen project, with Phase 1A making good progress. More at  http://renews.biz/100074/atlantis-grabs-17m-kyle-grant

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 latest issue of Dounreay News has been published, and as with other issues I helped Dounreay News Editor Sue Thompson identify a socio-economic story for inclusion. This issue features an update on progress with the rollout of superfast broadband across Caithness and North Sutherland, with over 10,000 premises now able to receive this enhanced level of connectivity. Previous contributions this year have included a look at the energy sector in the north and an update on Wick Harbour (and support to it from Cavendish Nuclear). All of these projects feature on the CNSRP Programme, and I hope to continue in this vein for future editions. http://www.dounreay.com/UserFiles/File/Dounreay%20News/October_2015.pdf
  • As the Scotland’s Towns Partnership released its Manifesto Statement for Scotland’s towns, it is good to see the piece by Will Clark in this week’s Caithness Courier of the imminent opening of three new business premises in Wick Town Centre. The news is particularly welcome as each of the properties has been vacant for some time. The new businesses will help reinforce the rejuvenation of the town centre highlighted by this week’s move of CNSRP partner Highland Council’s staff into the new Council office in Market Place. I was happy to give a comment to the Courier piece welcoming the news (not online).
  • We were delighted to welcome Iona Carruthers this week as temporary Administration Assistant, working with us to support activities on Inward Investment. Iona is providing temporary maternity cover for Lindsay Foord.