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Weekly Update, 3rd 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 a proposal for a workforce transition programme that included both DSRL and the local supply chain, taking account of examples of successful programmes from elsewhere. We will meet again in June to report on progress.

I met with HIE’s Area manager Roy Kirk to discuss several issues, including arrangements to refocus our efforts in inward investment. HIE is currently working on the detail of this, and should be able to announce its plans in this area very soon.

I met with Business Gateway representatives and discussed a range of local issues including business start-up and advisory services, town centre regeneration and the Royal National Mod. Business Gateway has seen a healthy number of enquiries in the year since it was introduced in the Highlands, and the small team in Wick is currently working with a number of local companies. Jennifer Irvine of Business Gateway will be talking to a range of town centre businesses over the next month to explore opportunities for support in the run-up to the Mod in October.

I met Rachel Skene, HIE’s head of tourism, as she finalises her programme of tourism activities. Rachel has been working closely with North Highland Tourism, Highland Council, Visitscotland and others in the tourism field, and I hope that we will very soon have a number of more detailed activities to populate the regeneration programme.