Energy & Business Services
I was able to help with a visit to Caithness this week by representatives from an Aberdeen-based multi-national energy company. I introduced the representatives to some local organisations, and it was particularly good to see immediate interest in practical opportunities to do business in the area. The visit was stimulated by the ongoing work being done by CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise via Area Manager Roy Kirk and DSRL secondee June Love.
Caithness Rural Transport’s role in the ACTION (Alternative Community Transport in Our Neighbourhood) project is highlighted this week. The project, which has been made possible through funding from Scottish Government’s Local Energy Challenge Fund, will be led by CNSRP partner Highland Council. The project aims to develop a scalable model for sustainable rural transport. Thurso’s Denchi Power is also involved, and the project will be managed by Louise Smith of Caithness Renewables Ltd. The Highland-wide project also involves Transition Black Isle and Community Energy Scotland, and initial consultations on the feasibility of the project will begin in Caithness before moving out round the Highlands. The project is particularly keen to hear from people considering purchasing an electric car, and what might influence decisions. A link to the survey questions is at http://www.caithnessrenewables.co.uk/welcometoourservices.html The project is a great example of local businesses, communities and agencies working together to look at innovative energy solutions and more information is at http://www.highland.gov.uk/news/article/8878/communities_called_to_action_for_green_transport_project
The North Highland Regeneration Fund (NHRF) this week announced the launch of the “iStart Challenge”, a competition designed to encourage entrepreneurial spirit amongst young people in the area. The competition, which is aimed at young people aged 16-24 living in Caithness and North Sutherland, invites enterprising individuals or teams to come up with a great business idea to be in with a chance of winning a cash prize and support to develop their business. NHRF has been supported by CNSRP partner the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and offers loan funding to local businesses. More information on the iStart Challenge is at http://www.nhrf.co.uk/Publications/istart-challenge
SSE Power Distribution has announced two events in Caithness next month to outline proposals for a high-voltage switching station to be located north of Wick. This consultation follows changes to the siting of previous options, and will address connections from the planned subsea cable from Shetland to the already progressing Caithness-Moray link. The two drop-in events will be held in Staxigoe Hall on Monday 14th September from 1.30-6.30pm and on Tuesday 15th September in Mackay’s Hotel Wick from 1.30-7.30pm More information is at http://news.ssepd.co.uk/news/all-articles/2015/08/she-transmission-to-seek-views-on-caithness-switching-station-site-options/
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: