Weekly update, 31st October

Enabling activities:
• Colleague Andrew Johnston, Director of the Highlands and Islands Science Skills Academy, was in Caithness this week, and it was good to catch up with him to discuss progress with the “Newton Rooms” concept, which has seen a network of facilities established in Norway to give practical, hands-on experiences of learning programmes in sciences. The development of the concept in the Highlands has been boosted by support through the Inverness City-Region Deal, and we believe that Caithness would make a fantastic first “Newton Room” venue in the Highland area.

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 was in Inverness this week to give an update presentation on CNSRP to the Planning Development & Infrastructure Committee of CNSRP partner the Highland Council. I was delighted to hear supportive comments and questions from Councillors from across the parties in the Council. The meeting was streamed on the Council’s website at http://highland.public-i.tv/core/portal/home and is available to view there again.
• The latest issue of the Energy North supplement is now available to view online. The Supplement is issued with all titles in the Scottish Provincial Press Family in the Highlands, including the John O’Groat Journal and the Northern Times. This issue has a range of interesting pieces on the energy sector in the Highlands, including an update on the MeyGen project from HIE’s Calum Davidson, with a quote from myself on how we saw the project coming together. http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/launch.aspx?eid=fd93908b-071e-45a3-b58e-037668a654b0
• The Caithness & North Sutherland Fund held its AGM last week, and new Chairperson Frances Gunn was able to report on continued progress in delivering the Fund’s mission. CNSF was set up in 2011 by CNSRP partners the NDA and DSRL together with the Dounreay Stakeholder Group, and since then has approved grants worth around £1.5M to around 120 community projects in the Dounreay travel to work area. The next deadline for potential applicants is 19th December, and a schedule of application deadline dates for next year can be viewed at http://www.cnsf.org.uk/2016/11/03/cnsfund-2017-grant-application-schedule/