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 do business. This is the second consecutive week that key business audiences in Aberdeen have been involved in discussions on business in the north, and our programme of events is returning some serious interest, supported in no small way by referrals from the network of Caithness Ambassadors.
Tourism, Food & Drink:
I met this week with representatives of Venture North (http://www.venturenorth.org.uk) and the North Highland Initiative (http://northhighlandsscotland.com). In the week that the classic car rally LEJOG arrived in Caithness we discussed current tourism-focused plans for both of these groups, and in particular the emerging work being carried out via both to develop new tourism products.
The Scottish Government has this week begun a consultation on the Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP) 2014-2020. The Programme is part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and The Scottish Government and is a key EU funding stream for the Highlands & Islands, covering a wide range of agricultural and environmental support measures, as well as rural development initiatives such as LEADER and food & drink sector support. The north benefited significantly from the 2007-13 SRDP. A link to the SRDP Stage 2 document and details of how to respond to the consultation is at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/12/7550
Also just published is a summary of the responses (both written and at the events held in Thurso and Kirkwall last summer) to Marine Scotland’s consultation on the proposed Marine Spatial Plan for the Pentland Firth & Orkney Waters area. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/12/6618/0
As part of an ongoing process of helping communicate progress with the delivery of aspects of our economic transition programme CNSRP’s partners work together to generate news stories for local, regional and national media. I also speak on a regular basis to individuals and organisations across the area to update on progress. This week: