Weekly update, 3rd April – 5th May (pre-election period)

I do not normally issue updates during pre-election periods, and the current pre-election period for Local Authority elections will come to an end on Friday 5th May. However, this week’s announcement of a UK General Election on 8th June means there is likely to be a further pre-election period covering the period to 8th June. I will update you once this is known.

Tourism, Food & Drink:
• The consultants working for CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) are next week holding a further consultation event in support of the economic and community plan being developed for John O’Groats. The event will be held in the Seaview Hotel, John O’Groats on Monday 24th April. From 2pm-4pm Ekos Consultants will host a series of short workshops on key themes (Tourism Potential; Building Community Assets; Jobs & Businesses; Improving Physical & Digital Connectivity) followed from 4pm-7pm with a drop-in session. The event will allow feedback from the consultations held, and will allow people to input into the Action Plan being formed.

Pentland Venture at John O’Groats harbour, 16th April 2017

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 CNSRP Executive Board met in early April to review progress in developing the 2017-2020 CNSRP Programme. The focus on opportunities in offshore wind, tidal, oil & gas, nuclear services, business services and the North Coast 500 initiative was welcomed, with each have the potential to bring employment to the area. Key enabling activities such as the development of a Skills Investment Plan for the area were also supported, and I continue to work with partners to develop detailed delivery targets.
• Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL) has announced that it will be running a voluntary redundancy programme for workers. http://dounreay.com/2017/04/future-work-programme/ I was asked to comment on the news for the John O’ Groat Journal and for STV, where I highlighted that although the news was a surprise, CNSRP partners continued to focus on opportunities such as those highlighted to the CNSRP Executive Board (see above).