Weekly update, 28th November

Energy & business services:
• Representatives of the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd were in Wick last week to give a public update on progress with the project, A decision on the project’s application for consent to convert two large buildings at Wick harbour into an O&M base is expected very soon, with the project scheduled to be operational by 2019. Copies of the information boards used at the event are now available to view at http://sse.com/media/442250/November-2016-Engagement-Events-Wick.pdf
• Staff from SSE were also at last week’s event in Wick to update on progress with the huge Caithness-Moray project to enhance the electricity distribution grid – this project has seen huge infrastructure investment in onshore substations and switching stations in Caithness, and over the coming 12 months will see work focus on the offshore infrastructure required to ensure safe laying of the subsea cable between Noss Head near Wick and Portgordon in Moray. More info on this project – including an assessment of the economic impacts of the work – is now available via the newsletter of the re-branded Scottish & Southern Energy Networks (SSEN) at http://content.yudu.com/web/1qn0o/0A3vend/OpenLinesNov2016/flash/resources/index.htm

Enabling activities:
• Progress continues with the arrangements for the “Jobs and How To Get Them” event, as the steering group met this week to check on company responses and workshop arrangements. The event will be held in the ETEC facility at North Highland College, Thurso, on Saturday 4th February 2017, from 10am-2pm. As with previous years there will be a good mix of companies and organisations present to talk about employment opportunities and to advise attendees on employability issues and school subject choices, college options, business start-up support. The event now has two social media channels open – a Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/caithnessjobs and a Twitter feed https://twitter.com/jobsnhighland

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 Scottish Provincial Press’s regular “Energy North” supplement was published last week with all of its titles in the Highlands and Moray. The supplement is now available to view online, and as always under editor Alan Hendry it contains a great range of stories focused on current activities in the sector, including the installation of the first MeyGen turbines, the BOWL project and the NDA Archive in Wick. It also contains a great piece on the community funds donated by Subsea 7, whose manager Willie Watt has overseen around £217,000 of donations to community groups in Caithness as part of a performance recognition scheme at the firm’s site at Wester, near Wick. http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/launch.aspx?eid=2420f990-f8ba-4658-aedd-52c63ec8b739