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CNSRP Advisory Board – Sept 2015 press summary

Focus on the Future at Partnership meeting

Members of the Advisory Board of the Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership (CNSRP) met recently to discuss progress with the CNSRP Programme. The meeting, chaired for the first time by Cllr Alasdair Rhind, Depute Leader of the Highland Council, heard that at the halfway point of the 2014-17 Programme companies had committed to creating 211 full-time equivalent jobs (the Programme targets between 359 and 479 jobs by March 2017).

Members heard a presentation from Gordon Doull, Vice-Chairman of Wick Harbour Authority, about progress with plans to develop Wick Harbour as an operations & maintenance base for offshore wind in the Moray Firth. WHA continues to work closely with CNSRP partners HIE, NDA and DSRL, and has benefitted from the secondment of Shona Kirk from Cavendish Nuclear to support its work. Members were delighted to hear how well discussions with the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd have progressed, and looked forward to BOWL’s  Final Investment Decision on the project early next year. Gordon Doull suggested that this investment decision, if positive, could be one of the biggest investment decisions for Caithness since the building of Dounreay. The project would bring significant employment to the area, and is a key project on the CNSRP Programme.

Sandy Mackie of Scrabster Harbour Trust confirmed that Scrabster had experienced record levels of oil & gas traffic this year, and it was hoped that this would continue to develop as West of Shetland activity progressed.

The launch of Caithness Chamber of Commerce’s  “Developing the Young Workforce” initiative was warmly welcomed, as it offered further impetus to the drive to support better engagement between employers, education establishments and young people. The initiative has been financially supported by CNSRP partners the NDA and Scottish Government.

Members also welcomed the appointment of Crimson UK as commercial partner for the NDA Archive project, and noted that its purchase by Restore would not have any adverse effect on project delivery. News that the Peatlands Partnership had recently let a £1 million contract to Thurso firm O’Brien Construction to build a Peatland Field Centre at Forsinard was also warmly received by the Advisory Board.

Issued 28 September 2015