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Weekly Update, 6th April 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 hope to meet with Skills Development Scotland staff in early May to pursue the idea further.
  • I met with local members of the British Science Association, who are developing a local event on renewable energy, to be held in Caithness in June this year. Given the high profile for marine energy at present, I have suggested an event that seeks to de-mystify some of the aspects (both technological and economic) of this industry.
  • HIE has just received the report it commissioned on telecoms connectivity in our area. CNSRP’s connectivity group has been instrumental in helping this forward, and I understand that it contains a number of very positive recommendations. Telecoms connectivity is an important building block for our inward investment offering, but also offers considerable benfits for our existing business community. I look forward to hearing more about it in the next few days.
  • The CNSRP Executive Board met this week under the Chairmanship of Sir Anthony Cleaver. Alistair Dodds (Chief Executive, the Highland Council), Randall Bargelt (Regional Director, NDA) and Sandy Brady (Acting Chief Executive, HIE) discussed a range of issues, including feedback from the Partnership’s Advisory Board in March and the draft regeneration programme. The draft programme will receive feedback from the partners before being circulated to wider stakeholders. It is the basis for delivering our aspirations, and will also be my main mechanism for monitoring progress.