Regional Opportunities - Focus North

The North of Mainland Scotland has a rich history, natural environment and diverse economic opportunities.

The region is the centre of new opportunities

About the area
Focus North concentrates on the northernmost part of mainland Scotland, which incorporates the northern section of the North Coast 500 iconic tourist route, so the region’s natural beauty and attractiveness to tourists is well known.

Perhaps less well known is that the region is leading: –

The renewable energy revolution

The region already produces 12 times more electricity than is used locally – all from renewable sources.

Production and storage capacity: –

    • Pentland offshore wind farm developing 100 MW floating offshore wind demonstration project 7.5 kilometres from the Caithness coast.
    • Recently agreed Scotwind sites surround the regions coasts supported by local harbour at Scrabster and Wick.
    • The MeyGen Tidal stream generation array in the Pentland Firth that has been producing power since 2014 is being expanded from 1.5 to 28MW
    • The region is home to two of the UK’s leading battery research and production companies – AMTE and Denchi Power
    • Development of battery storage schemes to help balance power production and demand.
    • Hydrogen production of up to 2,000 tonnes per annum being proposed at Gordonbush from underutilised wind power.
    • Hydrogen – hybrid aircraft are being trialled between Wick and Kirkwall in Orkney
    • Hydrogen – hybrid trains are to be trialled between Wick and Thurso in 2024

The Space Industry

The Mhoine peninsula is home to SpaceHub Sutherland – a vertical satellite launch site opening in 2024

A developing space cluster seeking to attract up to 740 jobs supporting the space industry to the wider region.
Space cluster strategy

On the Natural Environment

The Environmental Research institute, carrying out world class research into the natural environment, including research into the peatlands of the flow country – Europe’s biggest blanket bog.

The Flow Country, an internationally important carbon sink, is being proposed for adoption as a UNESCO World Heritage site during 2023.

The flow country green finance initiative – is seeking to attract ethical private investment in support of peatland restoration and long-term management of this vital ecosystem.

On Nuclear Decommissioning

These new opportunities will develop alongside the complex decommissioning programme at the Dounreay Nuclear site.  The site continues to employ a large, highly skilled workforce and technically innovative supply chain to develop solutions to world leading decommissioning challenges.