Weekly update, 7th March

Energy & Business Services:

Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL) has advertised a pre-application consultation event in Wick next week in support of plans related to the onshore infrastructure at Wick Harbour for its proposed offshore windfarm development off the Caithness coast. The event will take place on Wednesday 16th March in Mackay’s Hotel, Wick, from 3pm-7pm. More information on the BOWL project at www.sse.com/beatrice

Tourism, Food and Drink:

Good to see this week’s announcement from VisitScotland Chief Executive Malcolm Roughead that the new Chairman of VisitScotland will be John Thurso, former MP for Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross. John’s distinguished career in the hospitality industry makes him an ideal candidate to succeed Maurice Cantley as Chairman. John has had a key interest in the Regeneration Partnership since its earliest days, and was instrumental (with organisations such Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Highland Council, Dounreay, the NDA) in the Socio-economic Strategy Group that took forward the work that led to the “Strategy for Caithness & North Sutherland” in 2006. It was the recommendations from this strategy document that led to the creation of CNSRP in 2007. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-35744760

Following the recent interest in photographic and film promotion of the north, it is good to hear this week that a free Masterclass on “Smartphone Filmmaking” is to be held in UHI’s Dornoch campus on 1st April. The two Masterclasses are being run by respected film-maker Robert Aitken, whose new film “Last Footsteps of Home” was filmed in the north. For more information, and to register to attend, see  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/smartphone-filmmaking-masterclass-tickets-22646197386?aff=eac2  Venture North is also holding a one-day social media workshop this weekend, following last week’s launch of the superb Venture North Discovery series of promotional films.

Enabling Activities:

Caithness Chamber of Commerce manages both the Caithness Transport Forum and the Wick John O’Groats Airport Consultative Committee, with support from CNSRP partners Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd and the Highland Council. Both groups met in Wick last week. The Airport Consultative Committee heard a helpful update from Loganair’s Director of Operations on the current upgrade to its fleet of aircraft, as well as discussing news of changes to Eastern Airways’ flight schedule at Wick.

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:

  • Strathnaver Museum in Bettyhill continues its impressive programme of events with a Gaelic awareness day tomorrow (Saturday 12th). The event is held jointly with CNSRP partner Highland Council’s Gaelic team, and is supported by SSE’s Strathy North fund and the Robertson Trust. The event, which starts at 11am, will feature activities for adults and children.