Energy & business services:
The Scottish Government’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme is now open for applications. Financial support through the programme has been designed to encourage innovation of both design and business models. The financial support focuses on low carbon and/or renewable electricity and heat generation solutions and measures which will enable the transition to ultra-low emission vehicles for Scotland. The programme supports the Scottish Government’s new Energy Strategy, which was published in December. http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Business-Industry/Energy/Action/lowcarbon/LCITP/LCIFI
The Nuclear and Caithness Archive (Nucleus) reached a key milestone in December, with the award of “Place of Deposit” status. This means the facility, which is managed for CNSRP partners the NDA and Highland Council by Restore UK Ltd, has met all the UK’s stringent criteria for the safeguarding, preserving and cataloguing of important public information. The facility is also now one of the largest repositories outside London, and received its accreditation from the National Archives at Kew and the National Records of Scotland. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/top-accolade-for-nuclear-record-keeping
Tourism, Food & Drink:
Dunnet Bay Distillers, which has received advice and support from CNSRP partners as it has established itself as a fast-growing company, has been in the news again as it enters into a partnership with the Caithness Biodiversity Group to develop wild juniper growing on land around Dunnet Head into a long-term sustainable source of juniper berries for the company’s award-winning drinks (the company currently imports juniper from Bulgaria and Italy). With funding from CNSRP partner Highland Council the group is seeking to begin replenishing stocks of juniper. http://www.caithnesschamber.com/News/archive/highland-distillery-joins-bid-to-boost-wild-juniper And also in food & drink, Thurso’s Wolfburn Distillery is this week celebrating the fifth anniversary of filling its first cask on Burns night 2013. The company has growth rapidly since then, now exporting its award-winning single Malts globally. The company’s new website was launched this week at https://wolfburn.com/
It was good to meet up this week with representatives of Wick Harbour Authority, together with CNSRP partners NDA and HIE. As previously highlighted here, the WHA has been working hard over the past five years on an ambitious programme to move the harbour towards sustainable growth. The attraction of the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm operations and maintenance base has been a huge boost, and more recently it has been good to see growth in the number of local creel fishing boats based from the harbour and exporting produce. The activities will result in further growth for the WHA itself, and we were able to discuss progress with work that offers the chance to further open up use of the outer harbour area.
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:
Against a challenging financial landscape for creative industries businesses, it is great to see both North Lands Creative Glass (Lybster) and Timespan (Helmsdale) again awarded three-year “Regular Funding” from Creative Scotland (with North Lands even securing an 18% increase in funding). As a former board member of Timespan I know that behind the award lies the hard work of Board members, staff and volunteers, and the dynamic work of each organisation’s Director. Good luck to Directors Karen Philips and Sadie Young as they move forward with their exciting programmes of work! http://www.creativescotland.com/what-we-do/latest-news/archive/2018/01/three-year-regular-funding-awarded-to-116-organisations
Scottish Provincial Press has published the latest edition of its Energy North Supplement with this week’s SPP titles in the Highlands. The usual mix of news stories includes an update on the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Project, an innovative study of seabird behaviours around the BOWL and Moray East offshore windfarm sites in the Moray Firth, and further work on the economic benefits of floating offshore wind in Scotland.
Good luck to all the local groups participating in tomorrow’s “Your Cash Your Caithness” participatory budgeting event in Thurso High School. A number of local organisations will be pitching their ideas for use of Council funding, with event registration beginning at 9.30am https://www.highland.gov.uk/news/article/10745/your_cash_your_caithness_2018_%E2%80%93_projects_short-listed_for_public_vote