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. We hope it will lead to further contact with the company.
Tourism, Food & Drink:
It was good to catch up this week with Eilidh Todd of the North Highland Initiative (NHI) to hear of the exciting projects that NHI is currently exploring and delivering. Great in particular to hear of the early plans for an ambitious “North Coast 500” trail which it is hoped will become an international brand as well as a recognised road route around the west, north and east Highland coasts (perhaps in the way that Route 66 is a globally recognised American route). It should also provide a welcome framework to complement the existing and planned product development activities of a number of groups such as Venture North. A Children’s Food Festival is also being staged at the Black Isle Showground in June this year, featuring schoolchildren from Caithness. The NHI Facebook page and North Coast 500 Twitter feed are useful place to keep up to date with news on progress https://www.facebook.com/NorthHighlandsScotland and https://twitter.com/NorthCoast500
The Peatlands Partnership (with key partners RSPB and Scottish Natural Heritage) has begun work on key elements of its major “Flow to the Future” project at Forsinard with the appointment of project staff and the confirmation that Thurso-based O’Brien Construction has won the contract to build an Observatory tower on the existing Dubh Lochan interpretive trail. The £9M project has received support from a range of regional and national funders, including CNSRP partners Highland Council and Scottish Government. CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise commissioned the initial economic impact report for the project. The news was covered in last week’s Northern Times.
Tomorrow (Saturday 7th) sees the third “Jobs and How To Get Them” event, held this year in North Highland College’s ETEC from 10am til 2pm. A team of organisations and agencies (Caithness Chamber, Job Centre Plus, CNSRP partners Skills Development Scotland and Highland Council) have once again planned and funded the event, which will also feature over 40 companies exhibiting, and will also offer workshops on useful employability issues. Please check the event’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/caithnessjobs?ref=ts&fref=ts) for details of workshop times. We hope to see a number of visitors on the day, with both previous events having attracted over 300 visitors.
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: