The Future Economy - Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership

Nuclear is only one option for the area – the skills in the supply chain alone are impressive.

The Future Economy

CNSRP was created to coordinate an area response to a future without Dounreay. According to Dounreay’s Life Plan; employment will continue for some considerable time yet. This gives us the opportunity to plan and invest in an alternative economy and utilise the experience gained to attract other industries to our geographically unique area.

This is the current Dounreay workforce numbers that are necessary to complete the current decommissioning programme of the site.

Our future, however, will not be based on one large, publicly funded industry that supports the majority of the entire area’s economy and jobs. It is far more likely to be based on a number of smaller industries, all of which are attracted to the area by our unique geographical location to potential commercial activities and our skills availability.

Renewable energy

  • From offshore windfarms that require considerable operations and maintenance support
  • From tidal energy that exploits the vast energy reserves of the Pentland Firth and requires considerable installation and maintenance support

Oil and Gas

  • The exploitation of the frontier fields West of Shetland and support to the offshore industry in the Northern North Sea that requires a more cost effective support solution to continue to be sustainable through inevitable oil price variations
  • The support to the industry from local engineering companies who time and again prove their ability to deliver value for money quality products
  • The support to the extensive decommissioning activities required to offshore installations


  • Exploiting the skills and expertise of the area from 60 years experience at Dounreay and Vulcan to benefit of the wider UK and International markets who are in desperate need of such skills

The long standing nuclear industry in the area has created a wide range of generally non engineering skills that are required by many other industries. These services can provide back office support across a wide range of functions.

Access to the low cost satellite launch world wide market being targeted by the UK Space Agency. This is not the equatorial orbits accessed by many current launch sites, but polar and sun synchronous orbits that requires a geographical location that is only found in a few locations around the world, one of which is North Sutherland.

This is clearly a list that is under continuous review as opportunities will come and go.

Working with local businesses and stakeholders, the partners have prioritised their resources and effort accordingly alongside work focussed on improving the relevant infrastructure, transport, skills and general environment that will directly support these projects. This is all brought together under the CNSRP Programme.

This is shown pictorially in the graphic