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

21st Apr, 2017

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. […]

Weekly update, 27th March

31st Mar, 2017

Energy & business services: Following last week’s news that it has received consent from Scottish Government for its proposed Dounreay Tri floating offshore wind project off the north Caithness coast, this week Hexicon has announced a €45 million funding boost which will allow it to begin construction on the project.  http://renews.biz/106475/hexicon-swells-dounreay-coffers/ The offshore construction phase […]

Weekly update, 20th March

24th Mar, 2017

Energy & business services: • Last week Swedish company Hexicon was given consent from Scottish Government for its Dounreay Tri floating offshore wind project. As previously highlighted here, the company has announced commitments to work with Scrabster Harbour Trust to establish an Operations & Maintenance base for the project, and with North Highland College UHI […]

Weekly update, 13th March 2017

16th Mar, 2017

Energy & business services: • Delighted to see this week’s news that Caithness firm GMR Henderson has been awarded work on the construction programme for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project’s Operations & Maintenance base in Wick. The company, whose base is only about 100 metres away from the O&M site on the Wick harbourfront, will […]

Weekly update, 6th March 2017

10th Mar, 2017

Energy & business services: • Atlantis Resources Ltd has this week announced that Phase 1A of the MeyGen project has been awarded full accreditation by Ofgem. Phase 1A is now an accredited 6MW tidal stream generating station and will receive 5 ROCS/MWh. Ofgem has determined that the accreditation is effective from 8 November 2016, so […]

Weekly update, 27th February 2017

03rd Mar, 2017

Energy & business services: • As the construction of the Operations and Maintenance base for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project gets closer to starting, the long-term staffing of the project is already being considered. Tier 1 contractor Siemens is inviting applications for apprenticeship programmes: the Siemens offer is for Advanced Apprenticeships in Mechatronic Maintenance (site […]

Weekly update, 20th February 2017

24th Feb, 2017

Energy & business services: • At a meeting of the north Planning Applications Committee of Highland Council this week Councillors agreed to offer no objection to the application by Dounreay Tri Ltd to construct a floating offshore wind project at a site of the north coast of Caithness. The paper considered by Councillors is available […]

Weekly update, 13th February 2017

17th Feb, 2017

Energy & business services: • CNSRP partner Highland Council this week confirmed the sale of the buildings at Wick Harbour that will be restored and used as the Operations and Maintenance base for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL) project. The buildings have been sold by the Council to BOWL, allowing renovation and construction work […]

Weekly update, 6th February 2017

10th Feb, 2017

Enabling activities: • The “Jobs and How to Get Them” event was held in Thurso last Saturday (see https://www.facebook.com/caithnessjobs/ for event photos). It was very well attended by a range of organisations, at least 50% of whom were offering current employment/ apprenticeship opportunities. And it was good to see that members of the public came […]

Weekly update, 30th January 2017

03rd Feb, 2017

Energy & business services: • Partners kicked off a piece of work this week to look at short/ medium/ long term opportunities for the north mainland to gain further economic benefit from oil & gas work, particularly focusing on the continuing interest around west of Shetland oil & gas developments, for which locations like Scrabster […]

Weekly update, 16th January 2017

20th Jan, 2017

Energy & business services: • Following last week’s very welcome news that Highland Council has approved the application to redevelop harbour-side buildings in Wick as an Operations & Maintenance base for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm (BOWL) project comes the first visualisation of what the restored buildings will look like – for picture see the BOWL […]

Weekly update, 9th January 2017

13th Jan, 2017

Energy & business services: • The application to redevelop harbourside buildings in Wick as an Operations & Maintenance base for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project has been approved by Highland Council. http://sse.com/newsandviews/allarticles/2017/01/wick-telford-buildings-returning-to-maritime-use/ This is another milestone for the project, and should enable the £10M construction work to begin shortly to redevelop two buildings on the […]

Weekly update, 19th December 2016

23rd Dec, 2016

Enabling activities: • Following last week’s news that the Reporter appointed to lead the Public Local Inquiry (PLI) into the Berriedale Braes Improvement Scheme had recommended that the proposed Improvement Scheme should go ahead unamended, it was good to hear this week from Humza Yousaf MSP, Scottish Government Minister for Transport and the Islands, that […]

Weekly update, 12th December

16th Dec, 2016

Energy & business services: • Good to see news yesterday (Thursday) that the second phase of the Meygen project has reached financial closure, allowing construction to take place in the inner sound of the Pentland Firth in 2017. The project will be taken forward by Stroma Tidal Power Ltd, a wholly owned company of Atlantis […]

Weekly update, 5th December

09th Dec, 2016

Energy & business services: • I met this week with RES Offshore, who are working on the Dounreay Tri project, which is seeking consent to build a floating offshore wind demonstrator at a site north of Dounreay. Myself and Alan Ogg of North Highland College met with Senior Developer Jack Farnham to discuss the potential […]

Weekly update, 28th November

01st Dec, 2016

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 […]

Weekly update, 21st November

25th Nov, 2016

Energy & business services: • Representatives of the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd were in Wick yesterday (Thursday 24th) to give a public update on progress with the project, and perhaps more specifically with plans to use Wick harbour as the Operations & Maintenance base for the project. The event was very busy, and it was […]

Weekly update, 14th November

18th Nov, 2016

Energy & business services: • Following the successful installation of turbine support structures last month, this week marks another milestone in the development of tidal energy in the Pentland Firth, with the installation of the first tidal turbine in the MeyGen project. The turbine, the first of four in the initial phase of the MeyGen […]

Weekly update, 7th November

11th Nov, 2016

Energy & business services: • The vessel Olympic Ares arrived in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth this week to install the first of the turbines for the MeyGen tidal energy project. As previously highlighted here the turbine support structures and ballast blocks were successfully installed during October, bringing welcome work to the area […]

Weekly update, 31st October

04th Nov, 2016

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 […]

Weekly update, 17th & 24th October

28th Oct, 2016

Energy & Business Services: • Last week saw Dounreay Trì Ltd submitting its application to Marine Scotland for consent to develop a floating offshore wind demonstration project at a site around 6km north of the Dounreay site. You can view the project’s various supporting documents at the website of Swedish parent company Hexicon: http://hexicon.eu/projects/dounreaytri Tourism, […]

Weekly update, 10th October

14th Oct, 2016

Energy & Business Services: • The Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project is one of the largest private sector investments in Scotland, and to illustrate the sheer scale of the work the consortium has produced a short animation, which is available to view at https://vimeo.com/186162042 Also this week, lead partner SSE has broken ground on the site […]

Weekly update, 3rd October

08th Oct, 2016

Energy & Business Services: • Further contract awards for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL) project this week, again associated with the construction phase of the project. http://renews.biz/104432/dutch-tool-up-for-beatrice/ and the planning application submitted to Highland Council by BOWL is also available to view on the Council’s website at http://wam.highland.gov.uk/wam/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=ODFTGQIHJAO00 • Good to see that the […]

Weekly update, 26th September

30th Sep, 2016

Energy & Business Services: • Activity at Scrabster harbour has continued this week, as more ballast blocks are transported through Thurso from JGC Engineering Services Ltd’s base at Janetstown. These huge (c. 200 tonne) steel blocks will form part of the foundations for the turbines (see http://atlantisresourcesltd.com/projects/meygen-scotland.html for an illustration of how they will look). […]

Weekly update, 19th September

23rd Sep, 2016

Energy & Business Services: • Representatives from the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm consortium were in Wick last week to formally unveil plans to transform two historic buildings at Wick harbour into the Operations & Maintenance base for the project. A planning application for the plans was submitted to CNSRP partner Highland Council this week. The display […]

Weekly update, 12th September

16th Sep, 2016

Energy & Business Services: • Representatives from the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm consortium were in Wick this week to formally unveil plans to transform two historic buildings at Wick harbour into the Operations & Maintenance base for the project. The drop-in event was very busy with interested members of the public (estimated at around 150), and […]

Weekly update, 5th September

09th Sep, 2016

Energy & Business Services: • It is good to note that recruitment has now started for staff who will take forward the operations and maintenance of the Beatrice offshore Windfarm Ltd development at Wick, with lead partner SSE advertising the posts of Contract Lead, Asset Engineer and Operations Engineer. These are the first publicly advertised […]

Weekly update, 29th August

02nd Sep, 2016

Tourism, food & drink: • Following last week’s visit of the “Hebridean Sky” Scrabster harbour welcomed another cruise ship to port this week, with the arrival of the “Pacific Princess” which can carry up to 820 passengers, plus crew. Once again a number of passengers came ashore to visit local attractions, some taking advantage of […]

Weekly update, 22nd August

26th Aug, 2016

Energy and Business Services: • Good to see local and regional coverage this week of the new business created by two of the men affected by the closure of Enterprise Engineering Services Ltd’s Caithness operation earlier this year. When the company’s operation went into administration, Liam Sutherland and Stuart Anderson set up Envision Engineering & […]

Weekly update, 15th August

19th Aug, 2016

Energy and Business Services: • As part of the programme to connect renewable power in Shetland to the National Grid, SSE Power Distribution Ltd this week carried out consultation events in Wick and Staxigoe relating to the company’s latest plans for a switching station to be built on land between Wick John O’ Groats Airport […]

Weekly update, 8th August

12th Aug, 2016

Energy and Business Services: • Atlantis Resources Ltd has completed a deal with Belgian company DEME, who will be providing support (via its subsidiary Geosea) to the installation of the foundation structures for Phase 1a of the MeyGen project. DEME held an event in Caithness last November in association with CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands […]

CNSRP Update, 1st August

05th Aug, 2016

Energy and Business Services: • Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd held consultation events in both Helmsdale and Wick this week. The company, which received consent to develop the eastern part of its offshore wind field in the Moray Firth in 2014, is now consulting on plans to develop the western section of its area. I attended […]

Weekly update, 25th July

30th Jul, 2016

Energy and Business Services: • Recruitment firm ERSG has been appointed by SSE to help recruit contract workers for its Beatrice Offshore Windfarm development in the Moray Firth, just off the Caithness coast. As previously reported here, Wick Harbour is to be the operations and maintenance base for the project, and the CNSRP Delivery Group […]

Weekly update, 18th July

22nd Jul, 2016

Energy and Business Services: • CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Scrabster Harbour Trust co-hosted a visit last week from Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK. During her visit she met representatives from a number of local companies, and also had discussions on the potential for Scrabster in particular to […]

Weekly update, 11th July

14th Jul, 2016

Enabling activities: • The “Ready, Steady, Work” programme developed by CNSRP partners DSRL and North Highland College began this week. The programme takes young people from 4th to 6th year and introduces them to a range of workshops and company visits designed to enhance their ability to move on from school into employment, training or […]

Weekly update, 4th July

08th Jul, 2016

Energy & Business Services: • An interesting and innovative tie-up has been announced this week between tidal energy developer Atlantis Resources and onshore wind developer Wind Harvest. The deal will allow Wind Harvest’s 4-turbine Lochend development in Caithness to share access to the recently-connected Ness of Quoys distribution network at times when the MeyGen project […]

Weekly update, 27th June

01st Jul, 2016

Energy & Business Services: A deal to supply and install the inter-array cabling for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project has been won by Siem, who will work for Tier 1 supplier Seaway Heavy Lifting. Last year one of Siem’s vessels laid the subsea cabling for the MeyGen project in the Inner Sound of the Pentland […]

Weekly update, 20th June

25th Jun, 2016

Energy & Business Services: The MeyGen project in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth has reached another milestone, with Atlantis Resources reporting this week that Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution has connected the MeyGen project to the 33kv Ness of Quoys electricity distribution network. More information is at http://renews.biz/103116/meygen-tidal-powers-up/ Enabling activities: I was really […]

Weekly update, 13th June

17th Jun, 2016

Energy & Business Services: The CNSRP Delivery Group met this week, and we took the opportunity to have a round table discussion on the likely actions needed to support the delivery of local economic benefit from the £2.6 Bn Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project. One of the strengths of the Partnership is the ability to bring […]

Weekly update, 6th June

10th Jun, 2016

Energy & Business Services: A further element of detail is added to the emerging picture of contract awards associated with the £2.6 Bn Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project, with the news this week that Tier 1 supply chain company Siemens has awarded the contract to install up to 84 turbines to Swire Blue Ocean. It is […]

Weekly update, 30th May

03rd Jun, 2016

Energy & Business Services: A further contract announcement this week regarding the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm development off the Caithness coast. Scottish company Sgurr Energy have been awarded a three year construction monitoring contract. More details at http://renews.biz/102883/sgurrenergy-scoops-beatrice-job/ It was also great to read, see and hear the piece from BBC Scotland across yesterday’s (Thursday’s) news […]

Weekly Update, 23rd May

23rd May, 2016

Energy & Business Services: Following last week’s mention of the Beatrice offshore windfarm project, confirmation came this week that the project has reached a positive Final Investment Decision. This is great news for the north, with Wick being confirmed as the Operations and Maintenance base for the £2.6 Bn project, which will see up to […]

Weekly update, 16th May

20th May, 2016

Energy & Business Services: One of the main project focal points for partners over the past three years has been the potential to attract the operations and maintenance base for the Beatrice Offshore Wind development to Wick, and news this week that this moves ever closer with a piece in the RE News online feed […]

Weekly update, 9th May

13th May, 2016

Energy & Business Services: As previously covered in this update Atlantis Resources Ltd has now completed the acquisition of tidal energy assets from Scottish Power Renewables. http://renews.biz/102590/atlantis-seals-tidal-expansion/ I was delighted to meet Cameron Smith of ARL this week, and to take him to meet Scrabster Harbour Trust in a week that the port was very […]

Weekly update, 29th March to 2nd May

06th May, 2016

Energy & Business Services: JGC Engineering Services announced an important contract award in late March. The company has been awarded a major contract to support the £1.3bn Rampion offshore windfarm development off the south coast of England. This is the company’s first involvement in offshore wind, and will involve the design, manufacture and supply of […]

Weekly update, 21st March

23rd Mar, 2016

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 […]

Weekly update, 14th March

18th Mar, 2016

Energy & Business Services: Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL) held a pre-application consultation event in Wick this week in support of plans related to the onshore infrastructure at Wick Harbour for its proposed offshore windfarm development off the Caithness coast. IT was good to speak to members of the BOWL team, and to see the […]

Weekly update, 7th March

11th Mar, 2016

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 […]

Weekly update, 29th February

05th Mar, 2016

Energy & Business Services: The Scottish Government’s recently-announced Transition Training Fund was established to help address the current labour market issues caused by the decline in the price of oil, and its knock-on effects on the economy. The Fund is to be managed by CNSRP partner Skills Development Scotland, and it’s been useful to talk […]

Weekly update, 22nd February

26th Feb, 2016

Energy & Business Services: Good to see in Gordon Calder’s piece in today’s John O’ Groat Journal the upbeat views from Project Director David Taaffe on the likely jobs impact of the MeyGen tidal energy project. The news is also given a balanced and thoughtful welcome in the paper’s Leader Column. The onshore infrastructure to […]

Weekly update, 15th February

19th Feb, 2016

Energy & Business Services: It was good to speak last week with Magnus Davidson of Thurso’s Environmental Research Institute (ERI) about the transnational EU-funded project called REGINA. The project aims to reduce the vulnerability of small communities in remoter areas of the Nordic Arctic and Scotland which face the development – or closing down of […]

Weekly update, 8th February

12th Feb, 2016

Enabling Activities: Last Saturday (6th February) saw the annual “Jobs and How to Get Them” event, developed again by a group of agencies/ organisations (including CNSRP partners Skills Development Scotland and Highland Council) and managed by Caithness Chamber of Commerce. The event attracted around 370 members of the public, and featured more than 40 companies […]

Weekly update, 1st February

05th Feb, 2016

Energy & Business Services: Good to meet this week with June Love and the contractor  who is helping CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) with some work on cost comparison in the oil & gas sector. The work, which is supported by Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd, is also linked to work being taken forward […]

Weekly update, 25th January 2016

29th Jan, 2016

Energy & Business Services: Good to see Derek Campbell of Denchi Power heading out to take part in a programme sponsored by CNSRP partner HIE with the world-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The MIT Entrepreneurship Development Programme is week long, high level, intensive executive education course teaching skills for high impact entrepreneurship. http://www.johnogroat-journal.co.uk/News/Thurso-battery-chief-is-US-bound-22012016.htm Sharing premises […]

Weekly update, 11th January 2016

22nd Jan, 2016

Energy & Business Services: Dounreay Trì Limited is proposing to demonstrate a floating offshore wind farm approximately 6 km NW of Dounreay. The proposal consists of two turbines, located on a single semi-submersible floating platform, with an installed capacity of between 8 to 16 megawatts (MW). It is proposed that a single export cable will […]

Weekly update, 11th January 2016

15th Jan, 2016

Energy & Business Services: Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd and independent energy company Danske Commodities have signed a 15-year power purchase agreement for the latter to manage 50% of the output from the Beatrice development to be built off the Caithness coast. As previously reported, CNSRP partners have been involved in helping Wick Harbour Authority as […]

Weekly update, 4th January 2016

08th Jan, 2016

Energy & Business Services: One of the key elements in transmitting power from renewables in the north – the Beauly-Denny electricity power line – went into operation just before Christmas. For an aerial look at the power line see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-35146301 As the MeyGen tidal project enters a crucial year Atlantis Resources – the owner of […]

Weekly update, 14th December 2015

18th Dec, 2015

Energy & Business Services: Further movement in the tidal energy sector in Scotland this week, with the news that Atlantis Resources Ltd has reached an agreement with Scottish Power Renewables to purchase two of SPR’s tidal projects in Scotland. The projects are a 10MW proposal for the Sound of Islay and a 100MW project at […]

Weekly update, 7th December

11th Dec, 2015

Energy & Business Services: At last week’s CNSRP Advisory Board meeting members heard a presentation from John Scott of SSE, outlining the current progress and likely future activities in support of the major electricity grid enhancements taking place in the area. Members were particularly interested in the economic impact of the programme. It is likely […]

Weekly update, 30th November

04th Dec, 2015

Energy & Business Services: Atlantis Resources Ltd, owners of the MeyGen project in the Pentland Firth, have just announced a newly-created post of Director of Power Generation. The postholder, Stephen Ward, will play a key role in the construction of MeyGen Phase 1A.  http://renews.biz/100676/atlantis-gets-power-generation-head Enabling Activities: CNSRP partner Highland Council has announced this week that […]

Weekly update, 23rd November

26th Nov, 2015

Energy & Business Services: There was an event in Wick this week for local companies interested in opportunities in the offshore wind market. Representatives from DEME Group outlined its companies’ roles in the development, construction and maintenance of offshore wind farms, and in the rapidly expanding UK offshore wind market. A number of local companies […]

Weekly update, 9th and 16th November

20th Nov, 2015

Energy & Business Services: Later this month there will be an event in Wick for local companies interested in opportunities in the offshore wind market. As a leading company in the development, construction and maintenance of offshore wind farms, DEME Group is preparing new projects and contracts in the rapidly expanding UK offshore wind market. […]

Weekly update, 2nd November

06th Nov, 2015

Energy & Business Services: HIE’s Michael Koetsier and June Love hosted a successful visit from a potential inward investor last week, as progress continues to be made on opportunities related to the energy sector in the north. Tourism, Food & Drink Good to see coverage in today’s press of the new business venture being established […]

Weekly update, 26th October

30th Oct, 2015

Tourism, Food & Drink Tomorrow (Saturday 31st) sees the official launch at John O’ Groats of public art works commissioned by CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and supported by Creative Scotland Lottery Fund. The works, entitled “nomadic boulders” will be officially launched at an event at the site on Saturday at 5pm. The […]

Weekly update, 19th October

23rd Oct, 2015

Energy & Business Services: CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) ran an event this week as part of the Nuclear Supply Chain project which it runs jointly with Scottish Enterprise. The project aims to provide practical, independent advice and support to companies wishing to enter the nuclear supply chain for the first time, or […]

Weekly update, 12th October

16th Oct, 2015

Energy & Business Services: This week has seen preparations taking place for the visit later this month of a potential inward investor to the area. A series of relevant visits have been arranged to highlight the business infrastructure in the area, and to promote existing business capabilities. We have also been finalising the latest draft […]

Weekly update, 5th October

09th Oct, 2015

Tourism, Food & Drink The latest element of the drive to regenerate John O’Groats took a step forward this week with the installation of public art works commissioned by CNSRP partner HIE and supported by Creative Scotland Lottery Fund. The works, entitled “nomadic boulders” will be officially launched at an event at the site on […]

Weekly update, 28th September

02nd Oct, 2015

Tourism, Food & Drink October brings two exciting events to the area – both showcasing the creative aspects of the north’s natural and cultural assets. Today (Friday) and tomorrow is the Skald Festival, a celebration For more information please see https://www.facebook.com/Skald-Festival-1637298233224044/timeline/ And next weekend sees a one day Taste North event at Ackergill Tower, bringing […]

Weekly update, 21st September

25th Sep, 2015

Energy & Business Services It is good to note this week’s coverage in the local press of the arrival of the cable-laying vessel “Siem Daya 1” in the Pentland Firth as part of Atlantis Resources Ltd’s MeyGen tidal project. Following the successful completion of directional drilling for the cables that will take power from the […]

Weekly update, 14th September

18th Sep, 2015

Energy & Business Services As mentioned last week local colleagues from CNSRP partner Skills Development Scotland and North Highland College UHI were in Aberdeen on Wednesday to take part in the major PACE event (Partnership Action for Continuing Employment). The event attracted around 1,000 workers affected by the issues in the North Sea oil & […]

Weekly update, 7th September

11th Sep, 2015

Energy & Business Services The massive Offshore Europe Conference and Exhibition took place in Aberdeen this week. The event, which is one of the world’s largest technical events on offshore exploration and production, draws around 1,500 exhibitors and thousands of visitors from across the world. HIE’s Roy Kirk and DSRL secondee June Love were in […]

Weekly update, 31st August

04th Sep, 2015

Energy & Business Services As work continues to help ensure that the north is prepared to take advantage of the significant economic potential from offshore wind developments off the east coast of Caithness/ Sutherland, Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL) is holding a workshop in Wick next week with its engineering, procurement and construction contractors and […]

Weekly Update, 24th August

28th Aug, 2015

Energy & Business Services I was able to help with a visit to Caithness this week by representatives from an Aberdeen-based multi-national energy company. I introduced the representatives to some local organisations, and it was particularly good to see immediate interest in practical opportunities to do business in the area. The visit was stimulated by […]

Weekly update, 17th August

22nd Aug, 2015

Energy & Business Services I was grateful for the chance to meet this week with members of Wick Harbour Authority board and Cavendish Nuclear secondee Shona Kirk to review schedules and progress with the development project that sits on the CNSRP Programme. WHA Chairman Willie Watt confirmed the Board’s gratitude for recent support awarded by […]

Weekly update, 10th August

14th Aug, 2015

Tourism, Food & Drink There has been further excellent media coverage this week of the North Coast 500 route following triple cycling world record holder Mark Beaumont’s amazing non-stop circumnavigation of the route. We watched him flash past us in Thurso on Tuesday morning on his way to completing the journey in 38 hours! As […]

Weekly update from CNSRP, 27th July & 3rd August

07th Aug, 2015

Energy & Business Services Further good coverage this week for the ongoing activity at Scrabster Harbour, which has had a record month for Oil & Gas traffic through the port. This increased level of business for Scrabster Harbour Trust is also having a welcome impact on Wick John O’ Groats airport, which oil & gas […]

Weekly update, 20th July

24th Jul, 2015

Energy & Business Services The Ministry of Defence’s Naval Reactor Test Establishment (NRTE) at Vulcan saw its test reactor shut down for the last time this week, marking the first time in around 60 years that there has not been an operational reactor in Caithness. The facility beside the Dounreay site is operated for the […]

Weekly update, 13th July

17th Jul, 2015

Energy & Business Services Good to catch up this week with Louise Smith of Caithness Renewables, and to hear the welcome news that the project she has been working on with Caithness Voluntary Group and Transition Black Isle has taken a big step forward. ACTION Highland Highway has been awarded £35,000 from CNSRP partner Scottish […]

Weekly update, 29th June

03rd Jul, 2015

Energy & Business Services A reminder that next week will see Marine Scotland colleagues in the area to run consultation events on the Pentland Firth & Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan. There will be an event at Caithness Horizons, Thurso on Tuesday 7th July and one in the Durness Village Hall on Thursday 9th July. […]

Weekly update, 22nd June

26th Jun, 2015

Energy & Business Services Following their attendance at last week’s Wick RNLI Open Day this week’s Caithness Courier carries a piece on the team from Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL), who took a stand at the event to promote the project. The representatives confirmed the work currently taking place in and around the harbour to […]

Weekly update, 15th June

19th Jun, 2015

Energy & Business Services Good to meet representatives from SSE Power Distribution in Thurso this week as they undertook a final consultation on the proposed route for the new high voltage overhead line from a new substation at Thurso to a new substation at Philips Mains near Mey. The project has been the subject of […]

Weekly update, 8th June

12th Jun, 2015

Energy & Business Services Good to see today’s John O’Groat Journal piece welcoming the current survey work being carried out at Wick Harbour using a jack-up barge. The survey work is being used to support the design of onshore Operation & Maintenance (O&M) facilities for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL) project in the Moray […]

Weekly update, 1st June

05th Jun, 2015

Energy & Business Services Great to see news this week that a new company is being set up with bases in Aberdeen and Lybster, creating 16 jobs between the two areas – 5 of those being planned in Caithness. Enerquip is Chaired by Andrew Polson, the Caithness native who set up AMC Engineering before its […]

Weekly update, 25th May

29th May, 2015

Energy & Business Services Catching up this week with June Love and Roy Kirk of HIE, who continue to meet companies with an interest in establishing operations in the area. Several discussions have re-opened following an understandably quieter period for companies in the oil & gas industry. The overwhelming focus on cost effectiveness in the […]

Weekly update, 17th May

22nd May, 2015

Energy & Business Services Following mention in last week’s blog about current activity at the Forss Business & Technology Park, it is good to see the coverage in today’s (Friday’s) press about the partnership between Abbey Ecosse and Enercon, which will see Enercon establishing a service base at Forss for its operations and maintenance personnel in […]

Weekly update, 11th May

15th May, 2015

Energy & Business Services Encouraging progress continues to be made at the Forss Business & Technology Park, which is now being operated by Abbey Ecosse. The Park is currently supporting the work of Balfour Beatty in the north, and is about to become the north Highland base for a major onshore wind energy company. It […]

Weekly update, 4th May

08th May, 2015

Energy & Business Services The MeyGen tidal project in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth continues to make progress. In late March Atlantis Resources Ltd announced that Lockheed Martin had won a contract to build an Atlantis AR1500 turbine for the 6MW project. The US company will deliver the machine, which has a rotor diameter […]

Weekly update, 23rd March

27th Mar, 2015

Energy & Business Services It was good to meet up this week with directors of Abbey Group, whose company Abbey Ecosse has taken over ownership of the Forss Science and Technology Park. It was particularly good to hear of the company’s exciting plans for the Forss site, which should see good news over the coming […]

Weekly update, 16th March

20th Mar, 2015

Energy & Business Services The Meygen tidal energy project continues to progress, with arrival in Caithness of the steel to be used by JGC Engineering Services to fabricate the underwater structures in Phase 1 of the project. The steel arrived at Scrabster harbour and was safely offloaded by staff from JGC and H. Simpson Contractors […]

Weekly update, 9th March

13th Mar, 2015

Tourism, Food & Drink A last reminder that tonight (Friday) CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise will be supporting a public meeting in John O’Groats to present ideas for a further part of the redevelopment of John O’Groats. The public art project has been in development for some time, having been the subject of a […]

Weekly update, 2nd March 2015

06th Mar, 2015

Energy & Business Services Good to see this week that a contract to deliver the subsea cabling for the Caithness-Moray Grid link continues to move forward with the news that SSE’s Tier 1 contractor ABB has signalled its intent to contract Ecosse Subsea Systems (ESS) to deliver seabed clearance and trenching work. As previously covered […]

Weekly update, 23rd February 2015

27th Feb, 2015

Energy & Business Services Energy & Utility Skills and Scottish & Southern Energy have this week been advertising an exciting Employability Programme, based in part from North Highland College UHI in Thurso. The programme is aimed at people for whom finding work in the energy sector without previous experience is proving to be a barrier. […]

Weekly update, 16th February 2015

20th Feb, 2015

Enabling activities: This week around 70 businesses and organisations took part in an event led by Caithness Chamber of Commerce. Entitled “Investing in Our Young People” the event focused on the recommendations coming out of the “Commission for Developing Young People” led by Sir Ian Wood and published last summer. Attendees at the event heard […]

Weekly Update, 9th February 2015

13th Feb, 2015

Energy & Business services: Atlantis Resources, the company that owns the MeyGen tidal energy project, has issued an interesting Newsletter with updates on its progress – both on the ground at Ness of Quoys and with the build of its new 1.5MW AR1500 turbine. The newsletter includes interviews with its Chief Technology Officer and with […]

Weekly update, 2nd February 2015

06th Feb, 2015

Energy & Business services: I was delighted to take part this week with June Love in a visit from overseas representatives of an energy/ engineering company. The visit, which was coordinated by CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise, took in specific locations in Caithness, and also allowed discussions to take place with relevant local representatives. […]

Weekly update, 26th January 2015

30th Jan, 2015

Energy & Business services: The offshore renewables industry has been in Aberdeen this week for Scottish Renewables’ Offshore Wind & Supply Chain Conference/ Exhibition. The sector remains of real interest in the north due to the continuing developments with the two Moray Firth offshore windfarm consortiums – Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL) and Moray Offshore […]

Weekly Update, 19th January 2015

23rd Jan, 2015

Energy & Business services: MeyGen’s tidal project at the Inner Sound kicks off in earnest this month, with work starting on the groundwork for onshore access road and buildings at Ness of Quoys, just east of Gills Harbour http://renews.biz/82743/crews-pave-way-for-meygen/ And MeyGen subcontractor Fisher Marine has been working out of Gills Harbour this week, conducting survey […]

Weekly update, 12th January 2015

16th Jan, 2015

Energy & Business services: Good to see in this week’s John O’Groat Journal that AGM Batteries – based at the Thurso Business Park – has been developing a partnership with academia to help ensure its workforce skills stay up to date and competitive. Warwick Manufacturing Group, the R&D facility for Warwick University, has been helping […]

Weekly update, 5th January 2015

09th Jan, 2015

Tourism, Food & Drink: This month marks the start of Scotland’s Year of Food & Drink. Local companies had a year of encouraging activities in 2014, with products from businesses such as Reid’s of Caithness, Caithness Biscuits, Annie’s Bakery, JPL Shellfish, Scrabster Seafoods, Caithness Chocolate, Berry Good, Dunnet Bay Distillers, Pulteney Distillery and Wolfburn Distillery […]

Weekly update, 15th December 2014

19th Dec, 2014

Energy & Business services: Today’s (Friday’s) John O’ Groat Journal carries news that Caledonia Green Innovations (CGI) is re-opening the engineering facility at Bower, Caithness, creating up to 35 jobs. CGI is one of a number of Aberdeen-based companies that have been involved in the ongoing programme of engagements that have been led by CNSRP […]

Weekly update, 8th December 2014

12th Dec, 2014

Energy & Business services: The Partnership’s Advisory Board met this week, and members heard a presentation from Calum Davidson, Director of Energy & Low Carbon at CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise, on a feasibility study currently taking place on the subject of a possible “Floating Wind Test & Demonstration centre” off the north coast […]

Weekly update, 1st December 2014

05th Dec, 2014

Energy & Business services: SSE continues to progress its programme to build out the Caithness-Moray electricity Grid project. Work has started on the major High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) converter station at Spittal, and SSE’s Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission  has this week awarded a £460M contract to ABB for the design, engineering, supply and commissioning of […]

Weekly update, 24th November 2014

28th Nov, 2014

Energy & Business services: Delighted to meet up this week with Dan Pearson of the MeyGen project as he gave an update on progress with the project to Caithness Councillors in Wick. It was good to hear that contracts for onshore works are now in place, and that works will be taking place over the […]

Weekly update, 17th November

21st Nov, 2014

Energy & Business services: A representative from a large engineering company visited the area this week, and was able to see at first hand the range of companies, facilities and opportunities available in the area. We had an extremely productive discussion on oil & gas and renewables opportunities. The MeyGen project is well represented at […]

Weekly update, 10th November

14th Nov, 2014

Energy & Business services: Andritz Hydro Hammerfest has this week confirmed Meygen’s order for three of its 1.5MW tidal devices, as part of the first phase of deployment for the tidal site in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth. The project reached its financial closure in September this year, with the news that local […]

Weekly update, 3rd November

12th Nov, 2014

Energy & Business services: SSE has this week agreed to sell part of its stake in the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd development to Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP). SSE will now own 50% of BOWL, with CIP owning 25% and Repsol continuing to own the remaining 25%. This is good news for the BOWL development, as […]

Weekly update, 27th October

01st Nov, 2014

Energy & Business services: Following much recent work by HIE’s local team, especially Roy Kirk and CNSRP partner secondees June Love (from DSRL) and Lindsay Foord (from Highland Council), this week saw a visit by oil & gas companies to Caithness. It was good to see more than twenty representatives from a range of companies, […]

Weekly update, 6th October

10th Oct, 2014

Energy & Business services: Following last week’s successful oil & gas event in Aberdeen, HIE’s local business attraction programme continued this week with meetings in London with potential target businesses. Work continues to finalise attendees for the visit by oil & gas companies to Caithness later this month. As reported last week “the Caithness solution” […]

Weekly update, 29th September

05th Oct, 2014

Energy & Business services: A very successful event was held in Aberdeen this week as part of the ongoing delivery of the Inward Investment Marketing Plan for Caithness & North Sutherland (see communications below for details). The event was facilitated by Subsea UK, the trade body for a sector with around 750 companies. HIE’s Roy […]

Weekly update, 22nd September

26th Sep, 2014

Energy & Business services: Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd (MORL) has announced the installation of a met mast at its large offshore wind site in the Moray Firth, marking another step in its project to develop the site which lies around 22km off the Caithness coast. As previously reported here, MORL has signed a Memorandum of […]

Weekly update, 25th August – 15th September

19th Sep, 2014

Energy & Business services: Tidal energy plans for the Pentland Firth have received a massive boost with news that financial closure (UK leads marine energy revolution as world’s largest tidal stream project agrees investment to begin construction in Scotland | MeyGen)  was reached for Phase 1 of the build out of Atlantis resources’ Meygen site […]

Weekly update, 18th August

21st Aug, 2014

Energy & Business services: It is encouraging to see this week that Denchi Power, who purchased the lithium-ion battery facility at Thurso Business Park from ABSL Power Solutions, is recruiting staff as it continues to make good progress. Current vacancies exist for Electronics, Mechanical, Embedded Software and Applications Engineer and at the Thurso facility it […]

Weekly update, 8th August

08th Aug, 2014

Energy & Business services: As financial closure for the Meygen tidal project approaches, RE News last week reported that parent company Atlantis Resources had agreed a contract with Andritz Hydro Hammerfest to supply three 1.5MW turbines for its initial deployment in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth. The company says it expects work to […]

Weekly update, 27th July

01st Aug, 2014

Energy & Business services: It has been another good week for Wick Harbour. Following the recent news that Wick Harbour Authority had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd, thus maintaining their position as a potential base for MORL’s offshore wind operations, this week has seen Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL) announce […]

Weekly update, 21st July

24th Jul, 2014

Energy & Business services: Pelamis Wave Power has issued a project update on its Farr Point project off the coast of north Sutherland. The company reports on the results consultation work and survey work in support of its likely application later this year to Marine Scotland for a 10MW array of Pelamis wave devices. Tourism, […]

Weekly update, 14th July

18th Jul, 2014

Energy & Business services: We welcomed a new business to the area this week, with Aberdeen-based Process Safety Solutions (PSS) opening a new base at the HIE-owned Wick Business Park. The opening was carried out by John Swinney MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth whilst the Scottish Cabinet was in Wick […]

Weekly update, 7th July

11th Jul, 2014

Energy & Business services: News today (Friday) that Ofgem has approved the need to construct a subsea electricity cable from Caithness to Moray. This £1.2bn project will enable the transmission of electricity from renewables projects in the north. Ofgem had announced a consultation on Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission’s proposals, and submissions were made to the […]

Weekly update, 30th June

07th Jul, 2014

Energy & Business services: As our discussions on renewables sector investment opportunities into the area continue to firm up, it is good to see evidence of further enabling work taking place in the area. Pelamis Wave Power (PWP) has begun streaming data on wave conditions at its proposed site at Farr Point in north Sutherland. […]

Weekly update, 23rd June

27th Jun, 2014

Tourism, Food & Drink: Following last week’s food & drink success for Caithness companies, news this week that two more local businesses have been nominated for the Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards with Thurso’s Mr C’s Bar and Annie’s Bakery both nominated in categories. Interesting discussion this week about the proposed North Highland Way with […]

Weekly update, 16th June

20th Jun, 2014

Tourism, Food & Drink: This week has been the annual Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh, and north companies such as Mey Selections and Berry Good have been exhibiting. Indeed Berry Good has won the Supplier of the Year award in Scottish Farmer’s awards announced at the event yesterday (Thursday), so congratulations to Jill Brown for […]

Weekly update, 9th June

14th Jun, 2014

Energy & Business Services: I took part in a CNSRP event in Aberdeen this week with HIE colleague Roy Kirk. The influencers’ event, run in association with the Scottish Council for Development & Industry (SCDI), attracted around 80 business representatives including many from the energy sector and featured guest speaker Robin Watson, Chief Executive of […]

Weekly update, 2nd June

06th Jun, 2014

Tourism, Food & Drink: Further success for the area’s food & drink sector is evident in this week’s news that JPL Shellfish is to expand its premises at Scrabster to meet increasing international demand for its products. As previously highlighted, the company has been winning business in European export markets, but more recently has seen […]

Weekly update, 26th May

30th May, 2014

Energy & Business Services: Momentum continues to build behind our inward investment campaign, with further discussions this week offering the possibility of announcements that will bring new jobs to Caithness. The campaign is at present focusing on the energy sector, and is led by CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise.   As previously mentioned, next […]

Weekly update, 19th May

23rd May, 2014

Energy & Business Services: Two welcome pieces of news for the local economy this week. Firstly Subsea 7 has announced a major new £270 million contract to build a pipeline for Premier Oil to service its oil field east of Aberdeen. The 60km pipeline will be fabricated at Subsea 7’s Wester site, using its 7km […]

Weekly update, 12th May

16th May, 2014

Energy & Business Services: Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission held a “meet the buyer/ meet the employer” event in North Highland College’s ETEC this week, and I was delighted to be invited to have a presence at the event with partner staff from HIE, Highland Council, Caithness Chamber and JobCentre Plus. The event allowed SSE and […]

Weekly update, 5th May

10th May, 2014

Energy & Business Services: Offshore wind developer Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd (MORL) held a “meet the buyer” event in Wick this week. The event, held in association with CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise, featured presentations from lead partner EDPR and Tier 1 supply chain company Global Energy Group, as well as […]

Weekly update, 28th April

02nd May, 2014

Energy & Business Services: Following last week’s encouraging news on support for the Beatrice offshore Windfarm project in the Moray Firth, it is good to see this week that developer Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd (MORL) has announced a “meet the buyer” event in Wick on Thursday 8th May. The event, held in association with CNSRP […]

Weekly update, 21st April

25th Apr, 2014

Energy & Business Services: The Department for Energy & Climate Change this week announced the eight renewables projects on its revised list of “Final Investment Decision Enabling for Renewables”. This list has been published following a final review of affordability, after an interim list was published in December 2013. These projects will be receiving support […]

Weekly update, 7th April

11th Apr, 2014

Energy & Business Services: Atlantis Resources Ltd has announced an extension to its partnership with Chinese company Dongfang Electrical Machinery which will enable testing of the Atlantis AK1000 tidal turbine in China. As previously reported, Atlantis now owns Meygen Ltd., and Atlantis tidal devices will be deployed at the Meygen tidal site in the Inner […]

Weekly update, 31st March

04th Apr, 2014

Energy & Business Services: SSE’s transmission business is consulting on the next phase of plans to enhance the electricity transmission grid in the north. The company this week held two days of public consultation in Thurso and Mey on plans to construct a new substation at Phillips Mains near Mey, which will connect to a […]

Weekly update, 24th March

28th Mar, 2014

Energy & Business Services: Following last week’s news of consents given to the two offshore wind developments in the Moray Firth, SSE has this week announced its major review of offshore wind commitments in the UK. Whilst the company has announced plans to scale back investment in renewables, the good news is that investment in […]

Weekly update, 17th March

21st Mar, 2014

Energy & Business Services: Scottish Government this week gave consents to two applications to develop offshore wind sites in the Moray Firth. The applications from Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL) and Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd (MORL) were granted subject to specific conditions relating to environmental monitoring. The projects will now go forward for final investment […]

Weekly update, 10th March

14th Mar, 2014

  Energy & Business Services:   Wick Harbour Authority is making progress with its plans to create a heavy-lift facility on the commercial quay at Wick harbour, with contractors Gunns Lybster Ltd having now begun the work. The project, and its associated dredging works, was supported by CNSRP partners HIE and NDA respectively and is […]

Weekly update, 3rd March

07th Mar, 2014

Energy & Business Services: It was good to hear this week’s announcement of new ownership and opportunities for AGM Batteries and ABSL Power Systems in Thurso. Under the new structure ABSL Power Systems will become Denchi Power Systems Ltd (named after Denchi House in Thurso, where both businesses are based). CNSRP partner HIE has worked […]

Weekly update, 24th February

28th Feb, 2014

Energy & Business Services: There have been some pieces of news this week relating to Atlantis Resources, the company that now owns tidal developer Meygen. It has been awarded €7.7M in EU funding through the 7th Framework Programme to support the design, installation and operation of its bigger 1.5MW tidal turbine the AR1500 at the […]

Weekly update, 10th February 2014

14th Feb, 2014

Energy & Business Services: As promised last week, further information on the consultation events that Pelamis Wave Power will be undertaking in the north next month as the company prepares to submit application to build a wave site at Farr Point in North Sutherland. Events will be held on Monday 24th March (Caithness Horizons, Thurso, […]

Weekly update, 3rd February 2014

07th Feb, 2014

Energy & Business Services: Pelamis Wave Power will be undertaking pre-planning application consultation events in the north next month as the company prepares to submit application to build a wave site at Farr Point in North Sutherland. Events will be held in Bettyhill, Strathy, Durness and Thurso from 24th to 26th March. More details to […]

Weekly update, 27th January 2014

31st Jan, 2014

Energy & Business Services: Scottish Renewables’ “Offshore Wind 2014” Conference and Exhibition took place in Aberdeen this week. The keynote speech was from Fergus Ewing MSP, the Scottish Government’s Energy, Enterprise and Tourism Minister. In his speech Mr Ewing confirmed that decisions on applications from offshore wind developers Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd and Beatrice Offshore […]

Weekly Update, 20th January 2014

24th Jan, 2014

Energy & Business Services: HIE colleagues have returned to Aberdeen this week for a further series of meetings with companies and agencies. As previously reported interest in Caithness as a place from which to do business is strong, with new companies showing interest in energy sector opportunities. Tourism, Food & Drink: I brought colleagues from […]

Weekly update, 13th January 2014

17th Jan, 2014

Energy & Business Services: There is further evidence of progress with the programme of upgrades to the electricity transmission network in the north with this week’s announcement that Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission has received final planning consent from Scottish Government for the reinforcement of the electricity transmission network between Caithness and Moray. This will involve […]

Weekly update, 13th January 2014

17th Jan, 2014

Energy & Business Services: There is further evidence of progress with the programme of upgrades to the electricity transmission network in the north with this week’s announcement that Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission has received final planning consent from Scottish Government for the reinforcement of the electricity transmission network between Caithness and Moray. This will involve […]

Weekly update, 6th January 2014

10th Jan, 2014

Energy & Business Services: I met today (Friday) with representatives from Financial & Business Services teams in HIE and Scottish Development International to discuss opportunities to attract new business to this area. We have companies in the north providing excellent business process operations (eg Escape Technologies, Navertech, Aon Hewitt, BT, the Dental Plan) and we […]

Weekly update, 16th December

20th Dec, 2013

Energy & Business Services: As apprentices on the North Highland College engineering programme go out into work placements during Year 2 of their course, the attached video highlights student views on the course and the lessons they have learned to date from their experiences in the workplace. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3vgSxfzJFQ Tourism, Food & Drink: Caithness Horizons in […]

Weekly update, 9th December

13th Dec, 2013

Energy & Business Services: Partnership representatives held a business breakfast event in Aberdeen this week. HIE’s Roy Kirk and June Love, together with Stephen Sutherland (JGC Engineering Services), Willie Watt (Subsea 7) and Debbie Gray (North Highland College), met a group of business leaders to promote the area as an attractive place from which to […]

Weekly update, 2nd December

06th Dec, 2013

Energy & Business Services: Partnership representatives were once again in Aberdeen this week. A CNSRP-sponsored business influencers’ event was held in association with the Scottish Council for Development & Industry (SCDI), and attracted around 70 attendees, with key guest speaker Fergus Ewing MSP, the Scottish Government Minister for Energy, Enterprise & Tourism. The Minster kindly […]

Weekly update, 25th November

29th Nov, 2013

Enabling Activities: Today (Friday) was the AGM of the North Highland Regeneration Fund, the loan fund established with support from the NDA. Afterwards guest speakers Rob Arthur of Thurso Cinema and Andrew Mackay of Norseman and Castletown Hotels talked about what inspired them to get involved in business. The event finished with a presentation to […]

Weekly update, 18th November

22nd Nov, 2013

Energy/ Business Services: This week saw the latest in a series of annual Information Days on the Pentland Firth & Orkney Waters wave and tidal programme. The event brought together staff and displays from key developers in the sector (Meygen, SSE Renewables/ Open Hydro, Pelamis Wave Power) as well as organisations such as The Crown […]

Weekly update, 11th November

15th Nov, 2013

Energy/ Business Services: I met today with members of Wick Harbour Authority and representatives from Highland Council, HIE, NDA, Dounreay, Caithness Chamber to hear an update on exciting future plans for the harbour, and to discuss how support can be prioritised to help realise some of the plans. Of particular interest is the opportunity presented […]

Weekly Update, 4th November

11th Nov, 2013

Energy/ Business Services: I met this week with colleagues from HIE and NDA as we discussed with a local business its exciting growth plans. As part of our ongoing focus on key projects it was good to be able to offer a joined-up approach to potential support, and I look forward to helping bring the […]

Weekly update, 28th October

03rd Nov, 2013

Energy/ Business Services: Gordon Calder’s story in this week’s Caithness Courier carries good news for the area economy. Rolls Royce has confirmed its commitment to work in Caithness until 2030, providing a boost to the 300 strong workforce. http://www.johnogroat-journal.co.uk/News/Rolls-Royce-delivers-major-pledge-on-Caithness-jobs-29102013.htm Local companies continue to attract recognition for work being done in the energy sector. Yesterday’s Energy […]

Weekly update, 21st October

25th Oct, 2013

Energy/ Business Services: In a week where energy has been a key nationwide topic of discussion Ignis Energy has been awarded £400,000 in loan support from the Scottish Government’s District Heating Loan Fund to support further expansion of its network in Wick. The award to Ignis is the largest in this funding round. The Wick […]

Weekly update, 14th October 2013

21st Oct, 2013

Energy/ Business Services: I met today (Friday) with members of Gills Harbour Ltd for an update on the Board’s current activities, particularly related to the ongoing opportunities around tidal energy development in the Pentland Firth. Gills harbour is in a geographically strategic position, sited as it is between the two difficult tidal areas of the […]

Weekly update, 30th Sept 2013

04th Oct, 2013

Energy/ Business Services: Staff from HIE have been back in Aberdeen this week as part of our ongoing discussions with oil & gas sector businesses. As previously reported there are several promising leads, based on the increasing awareness of the north as a strategic and cost-effective location from which do business. The trip also coincides […]

Weekly update, 23rd September 2013

27th Sep, 2013

Energy/ Business Services: Next week sees a meeting in Aberdeen of the Scottish Government/ Energy North Oil & Gas Task Force for the Highlands & Islands, which has been established under the chairmanship of Fergus Ewing MSP, the Scottish Government Energy Minister. Several representatives from Caithness/ North Sutherland will attend the event as the north […]

Weekly update, 16th September 2013

20th Sep, 2013

Energy/ Business Services: The Scottish Renewables Marine Conference took place in Inverness this week. The event’s key announcement was the news of Scottish Government consent for Meygen Ltd to develop its proposed tidal stream site in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth. A demonstration array of up to 9MW will be the first phase […]

Weekly update, 9th September 2013

13th Sep, 2013

Energy/ Business Services: Providing further evidence of the area’s continuing importance to the development of the oil & gas industry, Subsea 7 is investing £5.5M in expanded facilities at its Wester pipeline bundle site near Wick. Users of the road from Wick to Castletown will have noticed the first phase of this work near Bower, […]

Weekly update, 2nd September 2013

07th Sep, 2013

Energy/ Business Services: Productive discussions this week with a potential inward investor in the energy sector. It was particularly encouraging to be able to demonstrate the joined-up approach we take to economic opportunity, with colleagues from HIE, Dounreay, Highland Council, North Highland College, HIAL, ports and businesses all involved in supporting roles. Consultation events were […]

Weekly update, 26th August

30th Aug, 2013

Energy/ Business Services: Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission Ltd (part of the SSE Group) is developing proposals for a new 132kilovolt overhead line between the proposed new Thurso South substation at Geiselittle and a new substation at Phillips Mains near Mey. It has recently published a consultation document on the proposals, which can be viewed at […]

Weekly update, 23rd August

23rd Aug, 2013

Energy/ Business Services: Members of the Partnership met this week with representatives of Global Energy Group and the Nigg Skills Academy as we continue to develop proposals to ensure that our area workforce is prepared to take advantage of future employment opportunities. Whilst the Caithness Chamber of Commerce-led “Make The Right Connections” programme has been […]

Weekly update, 16th August

16th Aug, 2013

Energy/ Business Services: Scrabster Harbour’s new pier continues to attract business from the energy sector. Following usage of the pier by large oil support vessels the most recent use was by Orkney renewables company Scotrenewables Tidal Power Ltd, whose prototype tidal device was taken out of the water at Scrabster for scheduled operations and maintenance […]

Weekly update, 9th August

09th Aug, 2013

Energy/ Business Services: I met this week with representatives of Asco, the Aberdeen-based logistics company that took over Scrabster Port Services last year. Asco are currently looking at further business development opportunities in Caithness, so it was good to discuss current CNSRP activities and to highlight opportunities where CNSRP partners could provide help. To mark […]

Weekly update, 15th July 2013

18th Jul, 2013

Energy/ Business Services: This week’s Press & Journal picks up on the ongoing work to develop radar systems that are capable of picking up and identifying aircraft movements and movements from offshore wind turbine blades. The technology was tested recently in Scotland with apparently encouraging results. This ongoing work – via UK technology company Aveillant […]

Weekly update, 8th July 2013

12th Jul, 2013

Energy/ Business Services: A seminar this week highlighted the opportunities for the Highlands and Islands in the oil & gas industry, as outlined by noted petroleum economist Professor Alex Kemp in his keynote presentation. I was able to help discuss particular actions that will help realise some of these significant opportunities in our area. Also […]

Weekly update, 1st July 2013

05th Jul, 2013

Energy/ Business Services: CNSRP partners identified support for Wick Harbour Authority’s efforts to attract new business from offshore renewables as a priority, and we have been working with WHA to help deliver the first phase of this work. So it is particularly pleasing this week to see the first fruits of this joint effort, as […]

Weekly Update, 24th June 2013

01st Jul, 2013

Energy/ Business Services: Arise UK have been running information sessions in the area this week, to raise awareness of opportunities for people to carry out a range of business support functions for companies in a range of sectors (financial services, hospitality, retail etc) whilst based in their own homes. A number of people attended the […]

Weekly Update, 17th June 2013

25th Jun, 2013

Energy/ Business Services: The Highland Council’s North Planning Applications Committee this week agreed not to raise any objections to Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL)’s application to Marine Scotland to build up to 277 turbines at a site in the Moray Firth. As reported last week this was subject to a number of conditions, including one […]

Weekly Update, 10th June 2013

19th Jun, 2013

Energy/ Business Services: The Highland Council’s North Planning Applications Committee will next week consider a report on the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd’s application to Marine Scotland to build at a site in the Moray Firth. Members of the committee will be asked to endorse the recommendation that the Council raises no objection to the development, […]

Weekly update, 3rd June 2013

07th Jun, 2013

Energy/ Business Services: Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd, the partnership behind the planned offshore windfarm in the Moray Firth near the coast of Caithness and East Sutherland, has added some further data to its application to Marine Scotland for consent to build its development. If consented this could see up to 277 turbines sites in the […]

Weekly Update, 27th May 2013

31st May, 2013

Energy/ Business Services: As reported last week I worked with partners from Highland Council, HIE, Energy North and Caithness Chamber to arrange a visit from representatives from National Grid. This week Mike Calviou and John Taylor from National Grid visited the area and met with a number of organisations, including North Highland College, Subsea 7, […]

Weekly update, 20th May 2013

24th May, 2013

Energy/ Business Services: Encouraging news this week as NorSea Group signs its first strategic working partnership agreement since announcing last month its intention to develop a supply base at Scrabster Harbour. The agreement is with Caithness firm Hugh Simpson (Contractors) Ltd, which will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its establishment next year. http://www.norseagroup.com/media-center/news-archive/scrabster-supply-base-moves-to-next-phase.aspx A number […]

Weekly Update, 13th May 2013

17th May, 2013

Energy/ Business Services: I met this week with colleagues from HIE, Highland Council, Environmental Research Institute, Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd and business representatives to discuss the evolving concept of an “International Marine Energy Delivery (IMED)” campus in Caithness. It was clear from the meeting that there is a considerable amount of work currently being undertaken […]

Weekly update, 6th May 2013

10th May, 2013

Energy/ Business Services: Ignis Wick Ltd, the company behind the combined heat and power scheme in Wick, have announced a further expansion of the district heating system with the connection later this month of the Wick Assembly Rooms. This will allow the north’s largest public performance venue to be heated entirely from renewable energy, enabling […]

Weekly Update, 29th April 2013

07th May, 2013

Energy/ Business Services: As we continue to see positive interest in Caithness from the energy sector, I met this week with representatives from Highlands & Islands Airports Ltd, HIE and Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd to discuss feedback from recent contact and to agree the key messages we will continue to take to companies in the […]

Weekly update, 29th April 2013

03rd May, 2013

  Energy/ Business Services: As we continue to see positive interest in Caithness from the energy sector, I met this week with representatives from Highlands & Islands Airports Ltd, HIE and Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd to discuss feedback from recent contact and to agree the key messages we will continue to take to companies in […]

Weekly Update, 22nd April 2013

29th Apr, 2013

Energy/ Business Services: Scrabster Harbour Trust has this week announced an agreement with NorSea Group, a major Norwegian oil & gas services company, that is expected will lead to major investment and new job prospects for the local economy. NorSea operates nine supply bases along the coast of Norway, but this will be its first […]

Weekly Update, 15th April 2013

22nd Apr, 2013

Energy/ Business Services: Developing the skills of our current and future workforce has been the subject of a series of discussions with partners this week. The Partnership’s Executive and Advisory Boards have identified this as a priority issue, and from recent discussions with potential investors, particularly in the energy sector, better intelligence on industry requirements […]

Weekly Update, 8th April 2013

15th Apr, 2013

Energy/ Business Services: Students from North Highland College’s Engineering apprenticeship programme have just returned from a week in Orkney studying Marine Renewables Safety Training at Orkney College’s Maritime Studies department. The students (including some from Orkney) are based at Thurso’s state-of-the-art Engineering, Technology & Energy Centre (ETEC), but this tie-up allows students to add crucial […]

Weekly update, 25th March 2013

28th Mar, 2013

Enabling Activities: HIE has announced the completion of the procurement of the major contract to roll out next generation broadband across the Highlands & Islands. The £146M contract was won by BT and was made possible with support from BDUK and Scottish Government. It offers a genuinely transformational opportunity for the area to compete on […]

Weekly update, 18th March

24th Mar, 2013

Energy: Highland Council’s North Planning Applications Committee this week agreed to raise no objections to the application to Marine Scotland from Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd (MORL) to develop offshore wind in the Moray Firth. The news attracted a range of press comment, both locally and nationally, and CNSRP Chairman Sir Anthony Cleaver’s comment can be […]

Weekly Update, 11th March

15th Mar, 2013

Energy: Applications from Meygen Ltd and Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd will go before next Tuesday’s meeting of the Highland Council’s North Planning Applications Committee. You can view the applications at http://www.highland.gov.uk/yourcouncil/committees/npac-comms/2013-03-19-npac-ag.htm Business Services: Good news this week that recent investment by HIE in local company Escape Technologies has helped create 4 new jobs, bringing the […]

Weekly Update, 4th March 2013

09th Mar, 2013

Energy: Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) is currently consulting on the planning application to build new overhead lines from Dounreay to Spittal; from Spittal to Mybster; and for a new substation 3.5km south of Thurso. Information on the proposals can be found at http://www.sse.com/DounreayMybster/ProjectInformation/ and the full Environmental Statement is also available to view at […]

Weekly Update, 25th February 2013

04th Mar, 2013

Energy: Meygen Ltd will be running a “Tier 2 Supply Chain” event on Tuesday 19th March. The event, which will be by invitation only, is aimed at potential suppliers to the company’s first 86MW phase of plans to install tidal devices in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth. The types of services being invited […]

Weekly Update, 18th February 2013

25th Feb, 2013

Energy: Good news this week from Ignis Biomass Ltd, the owners and operators of the Combined Heat & Power Plant in Wick. The Company has invested an initial £2.5M in a new biomass boiler, which has now been installed and is operating. In addition to providing heat for the Wick District Heating scheme the boiler […]

Weekly update, 11th February 2013

15th Feb, 2013

Tourism, Food & Drink: Talent Scotland is currently advertising a Graduate Team Leader post, salary £16,000 p.a., for Natural Retreats who are recruiting for a recent graduate for a 12 month Team Leader role. The successful graduate will have the opportunity to work closely with an experienced General Manager and with senior members of the […]

Weekly update, 4th February 2013

08th Feb, 2013

Tourism, Food & Drink: The Institute of Design Innovation has been working with a small group of tourism businesses in Caithness & North Sutherland on a HIE-funded programme to stimulate innovation in creating high quality visitor experiences. The cluster of businesses meets regularly with facilitators from the Institute, and its progress can be seen at […]

Weekly update, 28th January 2013

03rd Feb, 2013

Energy: A number of representatives from the area have been in Aberdeen this week at the Offshore Wind & Supply Chain Conference and Exhibition. The offshore wind sector has particular interest for the north, with the two major Moray Firth sites located off the Caithness/ east Sutherland coastline, and east coast facilities such as Wick […]

Weekly update, 21st January 2013

25th Jan, 2013

Tourism, Food & Drink: Images of the Caithness area now feature in two separate Visit Scotland films promoting Scotland to prospective visitors. The “Surprise Yourself” promotional campaign is focused on the Natural Retreats development at John O’Groats, and also promotes the journey to get to the area. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIupSRO6mYg The second is a Visit Scotland film […]

Weekly update, 14th January 2013

18th Jan, 2013

Energy: The Crown Estate has this week announced that it will consider investing up to £20M in two wave or tidal stream projects. The investment will be in the construction of the projects, with each project involving multiple generation devices arranged in an array and with a total installed capacity of 3 megawatts or greater. […]

Weekly update, 7th January 2013

11th Jan, 2013

Energy: The new year brings further good news from Subsea 7 as it secures another significant contract which will help maintain its current workforce of around 120 at Wester, near Wick.  The contract, for Dana Petroleum, will involve pipeline construction for Dana’s Harris and Barra fields located to the east of Shetland. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-20910641 In a […]

Weekly update, 17th December

21st Dec, 2012

Energy: Last week a number of local people were able to view a demonstration of a system designed by Nuvia and tested at T3UK near Thurso. The remote handling equipment, for spent fuel at a power station being decommissioned in Lithuania, is the product of two years of joint work between Nuvia and JGC Engineering […]

Weekly update, 10th December

14th Dec, 2012

Energy: As the first tranche of engineering students to enroll at the Engineering, Technology and Energy Centre (ETEC) in Thurso reach the end of the first session on the North Highland College apprenticeship programme, an excellent film has been produced that highlights both the students and the state-of-the-art facilities they are able to use, as […]

Weekly update, 3rd December

07th Dec, 2012

Energy: At last week’s Wave & Tidal Information Day in Thurso staff from Marine Scotland and Highland Council were present to talk about the ongoing work to develop a Pentland Firth & Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan. The pilot plan aims to develop a strategic decision-making framework for licensing and other consent applications in the […]

Weekly update, 26th November

01st Dec, 2012

Energy: The Pentland Firth & Orkney Waters Leadership Forum’s Wave & Tidal Information Day took place in Thurso and Kirkwall this week. The event had displays and staff from Meygen, Scottish Power Renewables, Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission Ltd, National Grid, Marine Scotland, The Crown Estate, HIE, Highland Council, Business Gateway, Skills Development Scotland, Caithness Chamber […]

Weekly update, 19th November

25th Nov, 2012

Energy: A reminder that next Wednesday (28th November) there will be an opportunity for members of the public to catch up with current activities in the wave and tidal sector when the Pentland Firth & Orkney Waters Information Day is held in the Pentland Hotel, Thurso. The event will be open from 2pm until 8pm, […]

Weekly update, 12th November 2012

16th Nov, 2012

Enabling activities: Partners developing a one day event aimed at highlighting current and future job opportunities met this week to agree a revised timetable of work, leading to the staging of an event in February next year. The day will involve businesses, Caithness Chamber of Commerce, agencies such as Job Centre Plus, Skills Development Scotland, […]

Weekly update, 5th November 2012

09th Nov, 2012

Energy: Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) this week announced the signing of a Partnership Agreement with the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). SSE is a key player in the development of the energy sector in the north, both as a developer and generator of renewable energy. Through its transmission and power distribution companies […]

Weekly update, 29th October 2012

02nd Nov, 2012

Energy: The Pentland Firth & Orkney Waters Leadership Forum (PFOWLF) brings together Crown Estate, HIE, Highland Council, Orkney Islands Council, Marine Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, National Grid, Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission Ltd and EMEC under the co-chairmanship of HIE and Scottish Government. The group has agreed to stage two information days later this month in Thurso […]

Weekly update, 22nd October 2012

26th Oct, 2012

Energy: Scottish Government has announced the launch of the £103M Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF). Initial priorities for the REIF are wave and tidal energy, community-owned renewables and renewable district heating, as well as other projects with a focus on innovative renewable energy technologies. The Fund is designed to complement existing public and private sector […]

Weekly update, 1st October 2012

06th Oct, 2012

Energy: A reminder that RWE Npower Renewables are holding a “meet the buyer” event later this month with Energy North and HIE. Representatives from the firm, and from Balfour Beatty and I & H Brown, will be on hand to give advice on the procurement process, and to explain the type of contracts available during […]

Weekly update, 24th September 2012

28th Sep, 2012

Energy: Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd, the consortium of EDP Renewables and Repsol, will be holding public meetings in the north next week to update on its submission to Scottish Government to construct offshore wind projects at three fields (Telford, Stevenson and MacColl) in the outer Moray Firth, just off the coast of Caithness. The events […]

Weekly update, 17th September 2012

22nd Sep, 2012

Energy: Scottish Renewables’ Marine Conference and Exhibition took place in Inverness this week, with over 250 delegates and over 40 exhibitors including Kongsberg Maritime, Caithness Renewables and Invest Caithness. To coincide with the Conference Scottish Renewables published data indicating that the costs of connecting to the National Grid for Caithness-based Pentland Firth wave and tidal […]

Weekly update, 10th September 2012

16th Sep, 2012

Energy: DSRL’s Commercial Team will be holding two Supply Chain Briefings this month to give an update on the Shaft and Silo Decommissioning Project at Dounreay.The project comprises of the design, build, operations and decommissioning of limited-life plant and facilities necessary to retrieve and treat the waste from within the Dounreay Shaft and Wet Silo.  […]

Weekly update, 3rd September 2012

07th Sep, 2012

Energy: A prospective inward investor in the energy sector visited the area this week, and I was invited by colleagues at HIE to take part in discussions with representatives on the area’s assets and business infrastructure. As previously reported Dounreay’s June Love has been seconded on a part-time basis to HIE to support the ongoing […]

Weekly update, 27th August 2012

01st Sep, 2012

Energy: The Scottish Government this week announced the four companies who will compete for the Saltire Prize. The companies are Aquamarine Power, Pelamis Wave Power, Scottish Power Renewables and Meygen.  The £10 million Prize will be won “by the team that achieves the greatest volume of electrical output in Scottish waters over the minimum hurdle […]

Weekly update, 20th August 2012

24th Aug, 2012

Enabling Activities: Representatives of Skills Development Scotland, JobCentre Plus, Highland Council’s Employability team, North Highland College, Caithness Chamber of Commerce, HIE, Dounreay and the Scottish Qualifications Authority met in Thurso this week and agreed funding and project management arrangements for an event to be held in November that will focus on future job opportunities in […]

Weekly update, 13th August 2012

17th Aug, 2012

Energy: Meygen Ltd has submitted its planning applications to Highland Council for onshore facilities at Ness of Quoys and Ness of Huna. These facilities will support the development of the company’s tidal power project in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth. The two applications are supported by a range of searchable documents including environmental […]

Weekly update, 23rd & 30th July 2012

31st Jul, 2012

Energy: The Pentland Firth & Orkney Waters Marine Energy Park was formally launched this week by UK Government Energy & Climate Change Minister Greg Barker at an event at Thurso’s Engineering, Technology & Energy Centre. The event – which was chaired by HIE Chairman Lorne Crerar, and saw John Thurso MP introduce Greg Barker –  […]

Weekly update, 9th July 2012

13th Jul, 2012

Tourism: Natural Retreats, the operators of the new development at John O’Groats, confirmed in this week’s local press the good news that the high-quality self-catering lodges at its site should be completed by early August, with already encouraging levels of interest. A shop called the Storehouse will also open in August, selling produce and goods […]

Weekly update, 2nd July 2012

06th Jul, 2012

Energy: The Marine Energy Group, which is co-chaired by Scottish Government and industry body Scottish Renewables, has published its Marine Action Plan, which updates on progress since the launch of the Marine Energy Roadmap in 2009 and highlights ongoing activities required of governments, agencies and private sector in five key areas to further development the […]

Weekly update, 25th June 2012

30th Jun, 2012

Energy: As reported last week, Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) launched its online procurement portal for supply chain companies seeking to tender for work with the company. A variety of current tendering opportunities is at www.sseopen4business-highlands.com/sse/publicSearchForm.html#publicSearchForm and interested businesses are being encouraged to register their organisation and create a business profile on the site. Gills […]

Weekly Update, 18th June 2012

20th Jun, 2012

Energy: Scottish Hydro Electricity Transmission Ltd (SHETL) has published consultation information on their proposed plans for upgrades required on the transmission network between Dounreay and Mybster (on the Causeymire). The information is downloadable at http://www.sse.com/DounreayMybster/ and staff from the company will hold public exhibitions on the proposals on Wednesday 4th July at Caithness Horizons, Thurso […]

Weekly Update, 11th June 2012

15th Jun, 2012

Energy: The Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy & Tourism Committee was in Caithness this week as part of its inquiry into the achievability of the Scottish Government’s 2020 renewable energy targets. Members of the committee visited various local sites including North Highland College, Scrabster Harbour, Wick Harbour and Wick Airport, and HIE hosted a business breakfast […]

Weekly Update, 4th June

11th Jun, 2012

Energy: I accompanied Stuart Black, Director of Planning & Development, Highland Council, to a meeting with Wick Harbour Authority to discuss the organisation’s ongoing plans for the port. We discussed a range of issues relating to potential future business at Wick, and looked at ways in which help might be offered to realise some of […]

Weekly Update, 14th May 2012

25th May, 2012

Energy: I have been talking to Caithness Chamber, Wick Harbour Authority, Highland Council and HIAL this week about materials and key messages being used to promote the north at the All-Energy Exhibition & Conference in Aberdeen next Wednesday and Thursday. Local businesses and organisations will have stands in the exhibition, which is the largest renewable […]

Weekly Update, 30th April 2012

04th May, 2012

Energy: I took part in a one-day event on “Business opportunities with academia” this week. The event was held in Orkney as part of the much larger International Conference on “Environmental Interactions of Marine Renewable Energy Technologies”, and was led by Energy North. A number of useful contacts made, and useful discussions with colleagues from […]

Weekly Update, 16th April 2012

25th Apr, 2012

Energy: CNSRP’s Advisory Board agreed a joint working arrangement with Scottish Power Renewables (SPR), who were awarded the lease to develop a tidal power scheme at the Ness of Duncansby at the east end of the Pentland Firth. An initial meeting between SPR and local representatives took place this week, with terms of reference discussed […]

Weekly Update, 10th April 2012

13th Apr, 2012

Energy: Scottish Government has confirmed that the Enterprise Area at Scrabster will be able to offer potential investor companies rates relief of up to 100% (up to £275,000 per business) as part of the incentive to locate at the site, which is on land above the harbour. The Enterprise Area designation, which lasts for 5 […]

Weekly Update, 26th March 2012

30th Mar, 2012

Energy: Understanding and responding to the skills required to support jobs in the energy sector was the subject of a meeting this week. Organised by Skills Development Scotland, the event brought together representatives from public sector bodies (SDS, JobCentre Plus, Highland Council, HIE, SQA) to hear from key energy/ power sector employers (Scottish & Southern […]

Weekly Update, 19th March 2012

23rd Mar, 2012

Energy: The Leader of the Highland Council has welcomed this week’s publication by the Scottish Affairs Committee of its report on the Crown Estate in Scotland. The Committee took evidence from a wide range of interests, and visited Caithness last year as part of its inquiry. The report recommends that Crown Estate powers over marine […]

Weekly Update, 12th March 2012

19th Mar, 2012

Energy: I met with colleagues from HIE, Orkney Islands Council, Crown Estate and Scottish Renewables this week to discuss ongoing support for the Pentland Firth & Orkney Waters programme. A project plan has been drafted, and will soon be finalised. In the meantime HIE and Crown Estate continue to work together to improve knowledge of […]

Weekly Update, 5th March 2012

12th Mar, 2012

Energy: Encouraging news this week that North Highland College has been successful in attracting additional funds for its efforts to support employment opportunities. Four programmes were offered a total of approx. £1.5M from Scottish Government through the European Social Fund. Of particular note is the Highland Energy Collaboration which will support the Pentland Firth and […]

Weekly Update, 27th February 2012

05th Mar, 2012

Energy: I brought together members of the Partnership’s Delivery Group this week to review our “roadmap” for creating economic benefit from marine renewables. We met with a contractor working on behalf of the Crown Estate on a project plan for the Pentland Firth/ Orkney Waters area, so we can ensure that our plans are based […]

Weekly Update, 20th February 2012

24th Feb, 2012

Energy: EnergyHunt – the Caithness-based renewables engineering company – have just opened an office in Thurso town centre, next door to the Partnership’s office in the space formerly occupied by The Crown Estate. CNSRP’s Advisory Board has agreed a joint working arrangement with Scottish Power Renewables, for whom EnergyHunt provides local support. Staff from the […]

Weekly Update, 13th February 2013

17th Feb, 2012

Energy: Scottish Enterprise, in association with Scottish Government and HIE (and with ERDF funding), has launched a £6M fund for wave and tidal energy. “Wave and Tidal Energy: Research, Development and Demonstration Support 2” (WATERS 2) is the second phase of the WATERS programme originally launched in March 2010, and is aimed at supporting the […]

Weekly Update, 6th February 2012

10th Feb, 2012

Energy: The Scottish Government’s Energy Advisory Board met this week, and announced the recommendations of the short-life working group on planning and consenting for offshore renewable energy. The working group, co-chaired by the Energy, Enterprise & Tourism Minister and featuring industry, regulatory bodies and The Crown Estate, has made recommendations designed to streamline the scoping, […]

Weekly Update, 30th January 2012

03rd Feb, 2012

Energy: Good news for the local economy this week with confirmation of a further contract award for Subsea 7’s Wester facility near Wick. Congratulations to Willie Watt and his team on securing the $100 million contract to fabricate 2 pipelines for BP’s Clair Ridge project. The contract will help secure around 100 jobs at the […]

Weekly Update, 23rd January 2012

27th Jan, 2012

Energy: Representatives from CNSRP partners Highland Council and HIE – together with a representative from Orkney Islands Council – this week presented a proposal for a Pentland Firth/ Orkney waters Marine Energy Park to the UK government’s Marine Energy Programme Board. The proposal was given a very positive reception, strengthening hopes that the area will […]

Weekly Update, 16th January 2012

20th Jan, 2012

Energy: Scottish Government has announced that Scrabster harbour is one of 14 sites across Scotland to become an “Enterprise Area”. Scrabster is included as one of five sites in the Low Carbon & Renewables – North grouping. The news follows many months of discussions where CNSRP partners have argued for one or more sites in […]

Weekly Update, 9th January 2012

13th Jan, 2012

Energy: Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission Ltd has published a contract notice for the design of the subsea hub and off-shore platform proposed for the Moray Firth (in the area of the Beatrice field), to support the provision of a High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) subsea link from Caithness to the Moray/ Aberdeenshire coast. This is […]

Weekly Update, 12th December 2011

16th Dec, 2011

Energy: I met this week with Trudy Morris (Caithness Chamber), Ian Couper (Energy North), Jacquie Black (ERI) and Keith Muir (HIE) to discuss a possible follow-up event to the supply chain event these two membership organisations held in North Highland College last spring. As previously reported UHI is staging an international conference in Orkney next […]

Weekly Update, 5th December 2011

09th Dec, 2011

Energy: Meygen, the leaseholders of the “Inner Sound” tidal site in the Pentland Firth, held two public information days this week to update on key issues such as project timescale, environmental surveys, the potential locations and scale of expected onshore works and the technical solution for exporting power to the grid. Nearly 100 people attended […]

Weekly Update, 28th November 2011

02nd Dec, 2011

Energy: The Crown Estate held an event in Thurso this week to update the public on progress with wave and tidal energy plans in the Pentland Firth strategic area. Speakers at the well-attended event included John Callaghan (Crown Estate), Stuart Black (Highland Council), Roy Kirk and Norma Hogan (HIE), Pippa Goldschmidt (Marine Scotland), Dan Pearson […]

Weekly Update, 21st November 2011

28th Nov, 2011

Energy: Along with a number of other stakeholders, I attended two events this week related to the development of renewable energy. The first was the public consultation on the proposed Orkney-Caithness subsea cable link. Phase 1 of this is likely to come ashore around the Forss/ Dounreay area, and SSE is currently seeking comments on […]

Weekly Update, 14th November 2011

18th Nov, 2011

Energy: Today’s (Friday’s) Press & Journal carries coverage of an agreement signed between North Highland College and onshore windfarm developer Whirlwind Renewables. The firm is applying for an second phase of the Wathegar windfarm just outside Wick, and if successful the deal would see between £30,000-£50,000 per year over a potential 30 year period used […]

Weekly Update, 7th November 2011

11th Nov, 2011

Energy: Following a meeting with representatives of Scottish Power Renewables this week (see below for details) it was agreed that I would bring together a mini “task force” to help SPR address key issues and to raise awareness of local capabilities in key areas (skills, infrastructure, etc). This is a significant collective step forward as […]

Weekly Update, 31st October 2011

04th Nov, 2011

Energy: Scottish Government Energy Minister Fergus Ewing MSP has initiated a Government Taskforce to help develop offshore renewables (offshore wind, wave and tidal). The Taskforce’s first meeting was last Friday, and it aims to focus on ensuring developers provide good applications, and also on ensuring that the licensing/ consenting process deals with development applications swiftly. […]

Weekly Update, 24th October 2011

28th Oct, 2011

Energy: Following last week’s announcement of a consultation on revised ROC bandings for renewable energy sources, further positive news for the wave and tidal industry in the form of a Scottish Government announcement that £18M is to be made available to “improve capability and infrastructure, as well as helping fund technology solutions and the roll […]

Weekly Update, 17th October 2011

21st Oct, 2011

Energy Scottish Government announced today (Friday) a consultation on the ROC bands applying under the Renewables Obligation (Scotland) mechanism. ROC’s are seen by the renewables industry as an important support mechanism in the key early stages of developing renewables technologies. The key relevant highlight for our area is the proposal to increase the level of […]

Weekly Update, 3rd October 2011

07th Oct, 2011

Energy Another potential inward investor visited the area this week to look at sites relating to offshore renewables, further highlighting the interest being shown in our assets and infrastructure.   Enabling Activities:   Transport Scotland has submitted a contract notice to the Official Journal of the European Union requesting operators to come forward to undertake […]

Weekly Update, 26th September 2011

03rd Oct, 2011

Enabling Activities: I met this week with Susan Johnston of JobCentre Plus, to discuss their important role in supporting the area’s economy. I also introduced her to colleagues form Highland Council’s Employability service in the area. Speaking at a meeting of the Make The Right Connections project board this week, I was keen to highlight […]

Weekly Update, 19th September 2011

26th Sep, 2011

Energy: Together with Simon Coles in his role as Inward Investment manager on secondment to HIE I met with two representatives from a major UK company seeking to develop its involvement in the renewables industry. We were able to show them several key local facilities, and introduce them to several local companies.   Tourism: A […]

Weekly Update, 12th September 2011

23rd Sep, 2011

Energy: In common with several other businesses and agencies I had a meeting this week with representatives of a company in the marine renewables sector who are thinking of setting up a base in Caithness. It was further confirmation of the growing interest from companies in locating their services close to the Pentland and Moray […]

Weekly Update, 5th September 2011

09th Sep, 2011

Energy: The Pentland Firth & Orkney Waters Leadership Forum met in Kirkwall this week, and I attended representing Highland Council (deputising for Stuart Black).  This is the group of public sector bodies (Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Highland Council, Orkney Islands Council, Marine Scotland and The Crown Estate) seeking to take forward the PFOW […]

Weekly Update, 29th August 2011

04th Sep, 2011

Energy: I met this week with representatives of Energy Hunt, the Caithness-based company that has recently won the contract to maintain the Met Mast being installed as part of the proposed Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd offshore wind site off the Caithness coast. Energy Hunt is also working for Scottish Power Renewables facilitating community engagement related […]

Weekly Update, 22nd August 2011

26th Aug, 2011

Week commencing 22nd August: Energy: Graeme Rankin of the NDA Competition team and Anna MacConnell, the NDA’s Stakeholder Relations and Socio-Economic Manager, updated several local stakeholders on current position with the Dounreay PBO competition. It was good to have the timetable for the remainder of the competition process laid out clearly, with the preferred bidder […]

Weekly Update, 15th August 2011

19th Aug, 2011

Business Services: HIE are holding four information events across the north next week to offer advice to anyone interested in part-time or full-time work based from home. Increasingly companies are looking at this way of working, given the range of work that can be done through broadband connectivity. The informal events are at Weigh Inn […]

Weekly Update, 8th August 2011

12th Aug, 2011

Energy: I met this week with Ian Couper, Chief Executive of Energy North (formerly North of Scotland Industries Group). We are making arrangements for a joint meeting of Highland Council and Orkney Islands Council representatives in the next few weeks, to discuss collaborative opportunities in marine energy. I also met this week with Debbie Gray, […]

Weekly Update, 25th July 2011

29th Jul, 2011

DOUNREAY SOCIO ECONOMIC ALLIANCE – SUPPORT TO THE CNSRP This blog is quite different from your usual weekly CNSRP blog.  Since the CNSRP Programme Manager is on holiday at present we have taken up his invitation to write a guest blog this week. In May 2011 a partnering agreement was signed by the Nuclear Decommissioning […]

Weekly update, 18th July 2011

21st Jul, 2011

Energy: The NDA has just published a paper describing its “Preferred and Credible Options” for the management of DFR breeder materials which are currently stored at Dounreay. The potential transfer of spent fuels away from Dounreay to Sellafield was the subject of discussion at last month’s Dounreay Stakeholder Group. The preferred option of transportation to […]

Weekly Update, 11th July 2011

15th Jul, 2011

Energy: Together with representatives from Highland Council, Caithness Chamber of Commerce, Thurso & Wick Trades Council and Dounreay Stakeholder Group I met this week with consultants engaged by one of the companies involved in the Dounreay PBO Competition. They have been asked to help identify ways in which a new PBO at Dounreay can best […]

Weekly Update, 4th July 2011

12th Jul, 2011

Energy: I participated in a meeting this week of the Pentland Firth & Orkney Waters Coordination Committee, substituting for Stuart Black of Highland Council. This group brings together Scottish Government’s Renewables team, Marine Scotland, HIE, Highland Council, Orkney Islands Council and the Crown Estate. In the light of the Crown Estate’s recent publication of the […]

Weekly Update, 27th June 2011

06th Jul, 2011

Energy: Aberdeen-based firm AMC Engineering, who manufacture high-precision torque equipment for the oil & gas industry, have announced they will be building new workshops at Lybster. The Company’s MD is Andrew Polson, who is from Caithness. He is one of the business figures who has taken part in HIE’s “Caithness Ambassadors” initiative. The expansion of […]

Weekly Update, 20th June 2011

24th Jun, 2011

Energy: DSRL and Caithness Chamber of Commerce hosted a visit to the area this week from Dan Mistry UKAEA Culham Division, who met with a range of local companies and organisations to inform them of potential supply chain opportunities in the international fusion research programmes.  In our wash-up meeting with Dan after his two days […]

Weekly update, 13th June 2011

17th Jun, 2011

Energy: I took part in a meeting this week organised by representatives of Amec, to coincide with a visit to the area of Amec’s Chief Operating Officer Neil Bruce and senior colleagues. The meeting brought together local stakeholders and Amec staff, and allowed Amec to talk about the company’s views on future opportunities in Caithness, […]

Weekly Update, 6th June 2011

10th Jun, 2011

Energy: Meygen, the company behind the proposed 400MW tidal energy site between Stroma and the Caithness coast, has begun its consenting phase of work. I met with Meygen’s Environment & Consents Manager, who has been helped this week by colleagues at DSRL to circulate information on the company’s forthcoming public open days to gather comments […]

Weekly Update, 30th May 2011

06th Jun, 2011

Energy: Caithness, Sutherland and Ross MSP Rob Gibson raised in the Scottish Parliament the issue of the impending departure of The Crown Estate’s Wave & Tidal Project Manager currently based in Thurso. In his reply Scottish Government Minister Richard Lochhead acknowledged the representations being made from the north on this issue. I have described previously […]

Weekly Update, 23rd May 2011

06th Jun, 2011

Energy: An indication of the ever-increasing interest in renewables in Scotland was an event held at Rosyth this week, hosted jointly by Babcock and Carnegie College. Entitled “The Power of Partnerships” the one-day conference focused on offshore wind and had a keynote address from Fergus Ewing MSP less than 24 hours after his appointment as […]

Weekly Update, 16th May 2011

06th Jun, 2011

Energy: The international All Energy Exhibition & Conference took place in Aberdeen this week, with a strong presence from companies from Caithness. Most of the Caithness-related stands in the exhibition hall were part of the Caithness Chamber of Commerce/ Invest Caithness presence in the “HI-Energy pavilion” co-ordinated by Highlands and Islands Enterprise. It was good […]

Weekly Update, 9th May 2011

16th May, 2011

Energy: The UK Coalition Government this week forwarded 12 projects from the UK to the EU’s €4.5 bn carbon capture and renewables scheme. Of the 12 projects forwarded, five companies involved in wave and tidal development in the Pentland Firth/ Orkney Waters will be involved (Marine Current Turbines, Meygen, Scottish Power Renewables/ Hammerfest Strom, Pelamis […]

Weekly Update, 28th March to 2nd May 2011

09th May, 2011

Energy: A joint North of Scotland Industries Group/ Caithness Chamber of Commerce event on marine energy was held in North Highland College. The event was attended by businesses from across the Highlands and into Grampian area, including some oil & gas companies with developing interests in renewables. A number of presentations including ones from Crown […]

Weekly Update, 21st March 2011

23rd Mar, 2011

Business Services: I will be coordinating a meeting this week with representatives from the Pensions Administration Office to update local stakeholders on plans to move the PAO’s base from Thurso to the Forss Business & Technology Park. The work done by staff at the PAO is a good example of the type of high-quality employment […]

Weekly Update, 14th March 2011

21st Mar, 2011

Energy: Following discussions at the CNSRP Executive Board about the value of pursuing additional mechanisms to encourage inward investment into the area, CNSRP Chairman Sir Anthony Cleaver has this week written to Rt Hon George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, to ask for support in making Caithness and North Sutherland one of the 10 […]

Weekly Update, 7th March 2011

14th Mar, 2011

Energy: Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore MP was asked by John Thurso MP during Scottish Questions at Westminster this week to support his calls for Caithness to become one of the UK’s first Marine Energy Parks. The coalition Government announced this idea recently, and there is a desire in the area to take […]

Weekly Update, 28th February 2011

07th Mar, 2011

Programme activities: Energy: I continue to discuss ways in which the area’s assets can be maximised in relation to the marine energy sector. This week discussions have taken place with Highland Council and HIE staff regarding how we might approach Government to make the case for some form of enterprise zone status for the area, […]

Weekly Update, 21st February 2011

28th Feb, 2011

I participated in the second round of meetings with the two consortia bidding to become the next PBO at Dounreay. The meeting (facilitated by the NDA) was chaired by John Thurso MP, and allowed members of both bid teams to pass on some thoughts following our first set of meetings back in November, at which […]

Weekly Update, 14th February 2011

18th Feb, 2011

Programme activities: Now that we have agreed our priorities for the 2011-2014 period, work continues to implement the programme of delivery activities. This week I chaired the monthly meeting of the Partnership’s Delivery Group, at which colleagues from HIE, Highland Council, DSRL and Caithness Chamber reported on progress with our two priority areas of energy […]

Weekly Update, 7th February 2011

14th Feb, 2011

I brought together several local organisations currently working in the energy and renewable energy sector, along with Caithness Chamber of Commerce,  to discuss the relative value of a more coherent local voice in the energy sector. Recent local comments on the effective roles played by Orkney Renewable Energy Forum and Shetland Renewable Energy Forum prompted […]

Weekly Update, week commencing 31st January

04th Feb, 2011

I accompanied CNSRP Chairman Sir Anthony Cleaver, HIE Chief Executive Alex Paterson, Highland Council Director of Planning & Development Stuart Black, NDA Director of Communications & Stakeholder Relations Jon Phillips and Scottish Government Enterprise Team member Karen Jackson to meet Jim Mather MSP, the Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism in the Scottish Government. The […]

Weekly update, 24th January

28th Jan, 2011

Week commencing 24th January I met with Caithness area Highland Councillors and HIE’s Area Manager Roy Kirk to discuss the ongoing issues regarding the future of the tax office in Wick, which is scheduled for closure in 2012. HIE remains keen to incorporate the skills represented in the Wick office into its developing campaigns for […]

Weekly Update from CNSRP

28th Jan, 2011

Week commencing 17th January The Partnership’s Delivery Group met this week, and discussed progress on our two priority areas of energy and business services. Roy Kirk, HIE’s Area Manager reported progress in existing businesses and with targeted inward investment research and campaigns in specific areas of both energy and business services. We discussed with HIE, […]

Weekly Update, 3rd & 10th January 2011

17th Jan, 2011

In the first week back at work following the Christmas and New Year period there was good news for the area in the form of two approvals to businesses from the European Regional Development Fund. The first was an award of £2.5M to Scrabster Harbour Trust to further support the development of Scrabster Harbour. This […]

Weekly Update, 13th & 20th December 2010

23rd Dec, 2010

The Partnership’s Executive Board met last week, and discussed the draft 2011-2014 Caithness & North Sutherland Action Plan. I will be making revisions to the Plan based on our discussions, and circulating a revised version aimed at honing down even further our priority activities. The NDA’s Jon Phillips also updated the Board on the National […]

Weekly Update, 6th December 2010

13th Dec, 2010

Working this week with colleagues from DSRL to align the DSRL Socio-Economic Plan for 2011/12 with the wider priorities of the Caithness & North Sutherland Action Plan 2011-2014. The DSRL Plan includes priorities for the Dounreay site’s Socio-economic budget which, although funded through the NDA, is separate from the UK-wide NDA Socio-economic Fund. Alignment of […]

Weekly Update, 29th November 2010

03rd Dec, 2010

The adverse weather conditions have disrupted activities this week. The CNSRP Executive Board was due to meet for its quarterly meeting today, but travel chaos further south has forced its postponement. I have now arranged an alternative date before Christmas. Also this week a meeting with North Highland College (retail skills initiative), a Tourism Workshop […]

Weekly Update, 22nd November 2010

29th Nov, 2010

This week’s main focus has been finalising a draft of the delivery programme that describes how the partners will achieve the aims set out in our 2011-2014 Action Plan. In developing this draft programme I have been working with collegues from HIE in particular. The Action Plan will be submitted to the CNSRP Executive Board […]

Weekly Update, 15th November 2010

22nd Nov, 2010

The Partnership’s Advisory Board met this week at T3UK. There were two update presentations on key current activities. The first was from Sandy Mackie of Scrabster Harbour Trust on progress with the Trust’s redevelopment plans for Scrabster harbour. This was welcomed by everyone, and there was real hope that the funding package would be finalised […]

Weekly Update 8th November 2010

11th Nov, 2010

I was involved in both of the two Wave and Tidal Developer Days held in Thurso this week. Over 400 people came to the Pentland Hotel during Tuesday and Wednesday to meet the Pentland Firth Round 1 companies, as well as staff from Crown Estate, Marine Scotland, SNH, National Grid and Scottish & Southern Energy. […]

Weekly Update, 1st November 2010

05th Nov, 2010

This week’s main focus has been finalising a draft of the Caithness & North Sutherland Action Plan 2011-2014 so that it can go forward to the Partnership’s Advisory Board at its November meeting. The Action Plan has been focused down considerably, and revolves around the creation of sustainable employment opportunities through support from CNSRP partner […]

Weekly Update, 25th October 2010

01st Nov, 2010

The Partnership’s Delivery Group met this week to review current activities associated with the regeneration programme of work. The announcement of HIE’s successful bid to the UK Government for a superfast broadband pilot was welcomed, and the small CNSRP Connectivity group will continue to work with HIE staff as the pilot proposals are developed further. […]

Weekly Update, 4th October 2010

15th Oct, 2010

Visiting the county this week were the Chairman, Chief Executive, Regional Director and several Board Members of Highlands & Islands Enterprise. I attended a breakfast meeting held jointly by HIE and Caithness Chamber of Commerce at which HIE Chairman Willy Roe reiterated the organisation’s ambitions for the area over the next few years. The well-attended […]

Weekly Update, 27th September 2010

04th Oct, 2010

I met colleagues from Highland Council, HIE, Scottish Government, North Highland Initiative and The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment to continue the work begun in August at a workshop on marine energy in the Castle of Mey. The event was attended by the Duke of Rothesay. Marine developers told us they would value an […]

Weekly Update, 20th September 2010

27th Sep, 2010

The CNSRP Executive Board met this week in Wick under the Chairmanship of Sir Anthony Cleaver. We heard from the NDA’s Competition team how the consultations with local stakeholders on the importance of socio-economics within the Dounreay PBO competition have been incorporated into the ongoing process. We also heard from HIE’s Area Manager about delivery […]

Weekly Update, 13th September 2010

17th Sep, 2010

The CNSRP Advisory Board met this week in Thurso. Members heard a presentation from Neal Rafferty, Senior Policy Adviser in Scottish Government’s Renewables team. Neal is the co-chair of the Pentland Firth Delivery Group, which brings together Scottish Government, Crown Estate, HIE, Highland & Orkney Islands Councils, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Development International, National Grid, […]

Weekly Update, 6th September 2010

15th Sep, 2010

I have been working on papers to go to our Advisory Board and Executive Board. The Advisory Board meets on Monday 13th and will have an update from a Scottish Government representative on progress with the Pentland Firth Marine Energy project. I have been working with colleagues at HIE to agree more detailed delivery plans […]

Weekly Update, 30th August 2010

06th Sep, 2010

I met with Jennifer Irvine from Business Gateway to update my figures on job creation in the area. Business Gateway provides a range of advisory and support services to local businesses, and it was good to hear that last year in its first 12 months of operation BG helped 24 new businesses in the north […]

Weekly Update, 23rd August 2010

27th Aug, 2010

I took part in a workshop to help develop a bid going in to UK Government for  pilot project to roll out superfast broadband. The UK Government is currently seeking pilot proposals from across the UK. This is something we identified early in our Action Plan as a priority, and I’m pleased to say that […]

Weekly Update, 16th August 2010

25th Aug, 2010

Separate meetings last week with representatives of Caithness Solutions and the Babcock Dounreay Partnership as we continue to discuss opportunities to deliver socio-economic benefit through the PBO competition process at Dounreay. I also participated in a two-day visit to Cumbria along with representatives from NDA, HIE, Highland Council, DSRL, Chamber of Commerce, Dounreay Stakeholders’ Group […]

Weekly Update, 9th August 2010

16th Aug, 2010

I discussed updated figures for the number of jobs being created in the area with colleagues at HIE – I am also discussing this with colleagues at the Highland Council and North Highland Regeneration Fund. The purpose of this is to identify as accurate a picture as possible for job creation over the past three […]

Weekly Update, 2nd August 2010

06th Aug, 2010

I participated in a workshop at the Castle of Mey this week. Co-sponsored by the Scottish Government, Highland Council and HIE and led by The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment, it focussed on an “onshore vision” for a marine energy industry in Caithness. In other words, to look at the infrastructure, resources and skills […]

Weekly Update, 26th July 2010

02nd Aug, 2010

I issued a summary of programme delivery priorities to partners today, and hope to agree this next week so that it can be communicated widely in the coming weeks as we set out our plans to deliver jobs over the coming months and years. I chaired a meeting of the Partnership’s IT connectivity group this […]

Weekly Update, 19th July 2010

02nd Aug, 2010

I have met separately with colleagues from HIE, NDA and Caithness Chamber of Commerce as I work to produce a revised version of the regeneration programme, following the meeting of the partners in Inverness on 2nd July. The Partnership’s Senior Officers’ Group met this week, to discuss progress with the activities we are prioritising through […]

Weekly Update, 5th July 2010

08th Jul, 2010

The Stage 1 application for European funding for a workforce transition programme has been approved. This is extremely good news, and now allows the group of agencies and local bodies that met to develop the initial proposal to work up a more detailed bid in time for the next deadline of mid August. The bid […]

Weekly Update, 28th June 2010

06th Jul, 2010

The partners in CNSRP held a workshop this week, focusing on the priority areas and projects to be pursued over the coming months. There was a clear consensus that focusing on actions in energy and business services was most likely to deliver the level and quality of employment sought for the area. A clear forward […]

Weekly update, 21st June 2010

28th Jun, 2010

Took part in a marine renewables event in Edinburgh this week. It was focused on financial issues affecting the development of wave and tidal technologies and their associated infrastructure. One of the key case studies was Scrabster harbour, and Scrabster Chief Executive Rod Johnstone spoke very passionately about the need for port and other onshore […]

Weekly Update, 14th June 2010

21st Jun, 2010

Several members of the CNSRP Advisory Board visited Orkney on Monday/ Tuesday this week. It was a useful and constructiive visit. Meetings were held at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Stromness, and with Orkney Harbours and Orkney Islands Council. Visits to test sites for both wave and tidal devices were organised, as was […]

Weekly Update, 7th June

14th Jun, 2010

Following last week’s meeting of the Partnership’s Executive Board I have been organising a workshop for the main partners, to be held in the last week of June. I have been discussing arrangements for this with NDA, HIE and Highland Council colleagues. We have also discussed other issues such as the socio-economic elements of the […]

Weekly Update, 31st May

04th Jun, 2010

The Partnership Advisory Board’s quarterly meeting took place this week. This is the body that brings together representatives from HIE, The Highland Council, the NDA, DSRL, Thurso & Wick Trades Council, Caithness Chamber of Commerce, the Dounreay Stakeholders’ Group, the Association of Caithness Community Councils, the Federation of North Coast Community Councils, North Highland College, […]

Weekly Update, 24th May

28th May, 2010

Workforce development issues have dominated this week’s activities. Following recent discussions on this subject several of us attended a workshop on European funding held in Thurso by HIPP (the body responsible for managing the EU Structural Funds in the Highlands & Islands). We were able to discuss our outline proposal with an HIPP adviser, and […]

Weekly Update, 17th May 2010

24th May, 2010

The Partnership’s Senior Officers’ Group met this week, making comments on the draft Regeneration Programme and Resource Plan that I will submit to our Executive Board when it meets in two weeks’ time. The Senior Officers’ Group also discussed and agreed a proposed piece of work with a marine energy developers, aimed at mapping our […]

Weekly Update, 10th May

17th May, 2010

I took part in the HITRANS forum in Thurso this week. HITRANS is the regional transport authority, and there were presentations on a HITRANS study on Transport Infrastructure for Renewable Energy, as well as one on options for development of the A9 around Berridale Braes. The latter subject was particularly topical following the accident at […]

Weekly Update, 3rd May 2010

10th May, 2010

The draft Resource Plan to support the delivery of the regeneration programme is now being circulated to the partner bodies for comment.  I brought together colleagues from the NDA, DSRL, Skills Development Scotland, Caithness Chamber of Commerce and local supply chain companies to address the issue of workforce transition. We agreed that we would draft […]

Weekly Update, 26th April 2010

05th May, 2010

I continue to work on a Resoures Plan, which I will submit to partners for consideration early next week. I have had further discussions with Highland Council, HIE, Business Gateway and Chamber of Commerce colleagues as I develop the plan. The Partnership’s Senior Officers’ Group met, and discussed the Regeneration Programme in its draft form […]

Weekly Update, 19th April 2010

26th Apr, 2010

Following discussion at the Partnership’s Executive Board I am working on a draft Resources Plan for the delivery of the regeneration programme. This will detail the human and financial resources I feel will be required to take us through the next crucial phase of delivery. I have had separate discussions this week with Highland Council, […]

Weekly Update, 12th April 2010

16th Apr, 2010

I took part in North Highland College’s Strategic Planning day, facilitating one of the workshop sessions. It was very useful to get greater insight into future college plans as they might impact on the regeneration programme, and also good to be able to discuss some local opportunities that might be available from the continuing development […]

Weekly Update, 6th April 2010

12th Apr, 2010

I met with DSRL’s socio-economic team to discuss workforce transition plans. I have also been discussing this with NDA’s socio-economic manager, who is looking at models of workforce transition elsewhere in the NDA estate. I would like to encourage a transition programme that includes the Dounreay supply chain as well as direct DSRL staff, and […]

Weekly Update, 29th March 2010

06th Apr, 2010

A rather unusual week, with the extreme weather causing lots of travel problems. However, I was able to make a presentation in Aberdeen to members of the Energy Industries Council. The EIC is “the centre for energy market intelligence for UK registered companies” and it has offices in Aberdeen, Billingham and London (UK) as well […]

Weekly Update, 22nd March 2010

30th Mar, 2010

I brought together a small group of local representatives to discuss how best to bring together a “pipeline” of projects from within our regeneration programme, so that we can make better use of funding opportunities. This is important as we seek to deliver tangible economic benefits  I also attended a meeting called by the Chamber […]

Weekly Update, 15th March

19th Mar, 2010

I hosted a meeting this week with Dennis Malone, Chief Executive of the Highlands & Islands Partnership Programme. HIPP is the body tasked with managing the two European Structural Funds Programmes for the Highlands & Islands. These two Programmes (ERDF and ESF) have a combined value of €174 million and the Programmes last from 2007-2013. […]

Weekly Update, 8th March 2010

12th Mar, 2010

Met with senior Highland Council colleagues to discuss a range of Partnership issues, including preparation for the Partnership’s Advisory Board on 18th March and the regeneration programme we hope discuss with Advisory Board members. Also considered logistics for the Crown Estate announcement event in Wick on 16th March. I attended the second of the two […]

Weekly Update, 1st march 2010

08th Mar, 2010

Met with Inward Investment manager Fiona Macpherson, Trudy Morris (Chamber of Commerce) and Rachel Skene (Tourism) to agree our joint positions on inward investment and capability materials. The Chamber and North Highland Tourism will work with us on capability materials for use at Visitscotland Expo in April, and we continue to work up materials on […]

Weekly Update, 22nd February 2010

01st Mar, 2010

The Partnership ran a workshop this week focusing on skills issues. The results of the Caithness & North Sutherland Skills Audit were presented, and DSRL’s Ken Nicol presented a view on workforce transition, followed by new North Highland College Principal Gordon Jenkins outlining opportunities being pursued by the College. As an outcome from the meeting […]

Weekly Update, 15th February 2010

22nd Feb, 2010

I chaired a meeting of the Partnership’s Senior Officers’ Group, at which the main discussion focussed on ensuring the version of the programme which we are about to publish is as robust as we can make it. We agreed that version 1 of the programme would still show some gaps in terms of the detailed […]

Weekly Update, 8th February 2010

15th Feb, 2010

Working with colleagues at The Crown Estate, HIE and Highland Council as we move closer to the announcement of Pentland Firth Round One marine energy leases. I hope that a date for the announcement will be agreed in the coming week and that there will be an announcement event in Caithness.  I brought together colleagues from […]

Weekly Update, 1st February 2010

08th Feb, 2010

Considerable time last week was spent preparing for the Industry Day that signalled the start of the competition to appoint the next parent Body Organisation for the Dounreay site. I coordinated the group of local representatives making the area presentation on economic opportunities. The event itself was held on Friday 5th in Wick Assembly Rooms, […]

Weekly Update, 25th January 2010

29th Jan, 2010

I have had discussions this week with colleagues from HIE on how best to identify and attract to this area businesses which are high users of energy. Met to discuss revisions to the Pentland Firth “Road Map”, and how we can best capture employment opprtunities following the forthcoming announcement from the Crown Estate on leases […]

Weekly Update, 18th January 2010

22nd Jan, 2010

Week Commencing 18th January 2010: I have been working with colleagues at DSRL on further revisions to our Master programme. I hope to be in a position to issue the first version of this in early February. I attended the latest meeting of Thurso & Wick Trades Union Council – updated members on progress with […]

Weekly Update, 11th January 2010

18th Jan, 2010

This is a short message to update you on activities involving the Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership.  I met with colleagues from Visitscotland and Highland Council in Inverness to discuss updated activities for the tourism sector in our area. I have agreed to bring together on 16th February colleagues from Visitscotland, Highland Council, HIE […]

Weekly Update, 8th January 2010

08th Jan, 2010

This is a short message to update you on activities involving the Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership. This week I met with Trudy Morris (Caithness Chamber of Commerce), Anna MacConnell (NDA), Fiona MacPherson (HIE) and John Thurso MP to discuss the presentation of the area’s economic opportunities to attendees at the NDA’s Industry Day […]

Weekly Updates for 2009

23rd Dec, 2009

Week Commencing 21st December: Met this week with two people (one local, one working in England) with IT backgrounds to discuss further the opportunities we might have to enhance the area’s connectivity. Colleagues at HIE are currently working on this issue, so we may see progress in the New Year. Met Koreen MacDougall from the […]

Welcome

27th Nov, 2008

Welcome to the new website of the Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership. These pages are an important part of our commitment to keep as many people as possible up to date with what’s happening in the area. This blog, in particular, will allow me to talk about our current work, so that you can […]