Weekly update, 21st March

Please note that there will be no weekly updates from CNSRP during the election period leading up to the Scottish Elections in May. The next CNSRP update is due on Friday 6th May.

Energy & Business Services:

CNSRP partner representatives were in Aberdeen earlier this week to take part in an Influencers’ event coordinated by the Scottish Council for Development & Industry (SCDI). The event was one of an ongoing series of engagement opportunities with key industry figures in energy and business services.

Scottish Government has this week approved the final Marine Spatial Plan for the Pentland Firth & Orkney Waters, following endorsement by both Highland Council and Orkney Islands Council. CNSRP Partners have been involved in this process since its earliest days, so it is good to see the work now coming to fruition. http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/seamanagement/regional/activity/pentlandorkney

Tourism, Food and Drink:

Last week was Scottish Tourism Week, and to coincide with this Caithness Chamber of Commerce made the very welcome announcement that Caithness is the first area in Scotland to achieve World Host destination status. The idea was originally taken forward under the Chamber-led “Make the Right Connections” skills transition programme, which was supported by CNSRP partner the NDA. More recent development has been taken forward under the auspices of the national programme run by CNSRP partner Skills Development Scotland. World Host in Scotland aims to promote an “interactive and energetic approach to helping your business and people learn, remember and apply the basic principles of great customer service” – and with the Chamber’s leadership the north has seen at least three Scottish World Host firsts. Mackay’s Hotel in Wick was the first Scottish hotel to be recognised; John O’ Groats was the first “town”; and now Caithness is the first region. More information on World Host is at http://scotland.worldhost.co.uk/case_studies

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:

  • As part of our overall commitment to measuring progress, we are commissioning an independent study into “the Socio-economic Impacts of Dounreay Decommissioning”. This study will update previous studies carried out in 2006 and 2011, and will aim to paint a picture over time of the area economy as the decommissioning process at Dounreay progresses and economic opportunities emerge. The work will be supported financially by CNSRP partners HIE and DSRL. The contract has been awarded to EKOS consultants, and we look forward to working with them to progress the study.
  • The CNSRP Advisory Board met this week and heard a presentation from Roddy Bailey of Skills Development Scotland on the range of services the organisation provides. The presentation highlighted just how coherent the various skills related projects on the CNSRP programme are, with current workstreams on Developing the Young Workforce and Talent Attraction both complementing the wider work of the CNSRP partners. We also discussed how to maintain the communication of key project progress with groups such as young people and their parents. Cavendish Nuclear’s Simon Middlemas and I will give a presentation to Dounreay Safety Reps on the issue of future employment prospects early next month.