Energy & Business Services:
The Scottish Government’s recently-announced Transition Training Fund was established to help address the current labour market issues caused by the decline in the price of oil, and its knock-on effects on the economy. The Fund is to be managed by CNSRP partner Skills Development Scotland, and it’s been useful to talk through with local SDS colleagues some of the early opportunities to help individuals affected. As further information on how the scheme works we will work with partners to ensure it is widely understood.
Ownership of the Wick District Heating Scheme has been taken over by Equitix, with backing from the Green Investment Bank. The deal is likely to mean a further expansion of the network, which already supplies more than 200 homes in Wick, as well as an innovative deal with neighbouring Pulteney Distillery.
Tourism, Food and Drink:
I was delighted to be invited this week to Venture North’s launch event for the first in its series of three short films promoting the North Highlands. The first, which covers winter in the north, brings together the talents of Sinclair Aerial Surveys, Wild North Skies and Storyboard Films to produce a stunning look at what the north has to offer. You can view the film at https://vimeo.com/157219617 The initiative, which is supported by VisitScotland, SSE and CNSRP partner the NDA, attracted a range of local tourism businesses to Caithness Horizons in Thurso. The NDA’s Financial Director David Batters was also in Caithness meeting local stakeholders, and was able to attend the Venture North event. Also being given significant coverage at the moment is a great short film about the north, filmed from the perspective of a surfer, showing the area in its full coldwater glory!. https://vimeo.com/155161483
Scrabster Harbour Trust is set to welcome a record number of cruise ships (and passengers) this year, with 12 vessels due to call at the port. The largest of these is the Oriana, which can hold nearly 2,000 passengers. Projections for the 2017 season also look encouraging, with 8 vessels already booked. http://www.johnogroat-journal.co.uk/News/Scrabster-cruising-towards-record-26022016.htm
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: