Weekly update, weeks 7th – 21st May
Energy & business services:
- As the first towers for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm arrive in Nigg this week, Crown Estate Scotland has begun looking ahead to the next generation of offshore wind projects in Scotland. The Moray Firth has been a real focal point for offshore wind in Scotland, with the Beatrice project set to enter its operation and maintenance phase in 2019 and the Moray Offshore project currently moving towards financial close during 2018. The emergence of floating offshore wind is also of interest, with several potential projects off the north coast of Caithness. http://www.crownestatescotland.com/media-and-notices/news-media-releases-opinion/proposals-launched-for-new-offshore-wind-in-scotlands-seas
- And the owners of the MeyGen tidal project in the inner sound of the Pentland Firth continue to make changes – as the company gets ready for “reverse takeover” by the Gupta Family Group it will see a name change to Simec Atlantis Energy. http://renews.biz/111203/atlantis-share-issue-raises-20m/
The MeyGen project, delivered by Atlantis Resources Ltd, is now delivering tidal power in the Pentland Firth.
- I mentioned earlier this month that Scrabster Harbour trust had welcomed the first cruise ship of its 2018 season. And the same week that the 600 passenger Astoria docked the port also received an unscheduled visit from the 420 passenger MV Hamburg, which was unable to travel to its scheduled port of Stornoway due to weather conditions. There are a further 11 scheduled visits to the port this season. For more details on the cruise ship timetable see http://www.scrabster.co.uk/sectors/ferries/ and for a look at what attracts cruise ships to the area have a look at Scrabster Harbour Trust’s promotional video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdKxlFKmThs
- Good to see another new creative business opening in Thurso town centre, with Lindsey Gallagher’s jewellery-making skills offering members of the public a chance to sign up for beginners’ workshops. Lindsey received support from the Caithness Business Fund, which is managed by Caithness Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the Baillie Wind Farm. More on the CBF is at http://www.caithnessbusinessfund.com/ and you can find more on Lindsey’s work at https://www.lindseygallacher.com/
- Business Gateway (managed in the Highlands by CNSRP partner Highland Council) continues to run a series of very useful business events, with several coming up in the next few weeks. Of particular interest might be the workshop on “Paths into Public procurement” on 11th June in Wick, which aims to help businesses bid for public sector contracts. More on this at https://www.bgateway.com/events/9443/paths-into-public-procurement
- Dounreay Suppliers’ Day was held in Thurso this week, with a very strong presence from supply chain companies from across the UK. You can see more on the DSRL suppliers’ day at the DSRL Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/Dounreay/videos/1712158665529569/
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:
The Highlands and Islands committee of the SCDI visit Wick habrour to see the Beatrice Offshore temporary controle centre.
- I was delighted to be invited to give an update on CNSRP activities at the recent meeting in Wick of the SCDI Highlands & Islands Committee. The SCDI (Scottish Council for Development & Industry) is “an independent and inclusive economic development network which seeks to influence and inspire Government and key stakeholders with our ambitious vision to create sustainable economic growth for Scotland.” The members of the H&I committee, and SCDI Chief Executive Mark Bevan, were able to visit both Nucleus (the Nuclear and Caithness archive) and the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm’s temporary operations centre in Wick, giving them an insight into the changes happening in the area economy. I was able to outline the scale of challenge remaining before us, as well as outlining some of the actions we taking to address this. More on the SCDI is at https://www.scdi.org.uk/hi/
- This week I was able to give an update presentation on CNSRP activities to the Chair, Principal and senior colleagues at North Highland College UHI, where we were able to spend time looking at the skills and learning aspects of the projects on our programme, and to look at how the NHC UHI plans can help deliver some of our objectives.
The Thurso Campus of the North Highland College UHI
- As we look toward further meetings of CNSRP’s Executive Board I was sorry to read last week of the retirement in November this year of Steve Barron, current Chief Executive of CNSRP partner Highland Council. Steve has been a pro-active member of the Executive Board since succeeding Alistair Dodds nearly five years ago, and has provided much-appreciated support for our efforts. https://www.highland.gov.uk/news/article/11041/chief_executive