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Weekly Update, 25th July 2011


This blog is quite different from your usual weekly CNSRP blog.  Since the CNSRP Programme Manager is on holiday at present we have taken up his invitation to write a guest blog this week.

In May 2011 a partnering agreement was signed by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA,), Babcock International Group and Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd  (DSRL) which sets out the principles that the three organisations (Dounreay Socio Economic Alliance) will “form a strong partnership successfully delivering our contribution to the Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Programme”.

Since then we have been reviewing the CNSRP programme identifying areas
where we can help support the delivery of the activities identified.    The
Dounreay Socio Economic Alliance meet on a regular basis to review the strategic direction of our activities, aiming to ensure that they align with the CNSRP programme. An example of this is that we are currently considering how we can maximise local benefit within our site contracts,
while ensuring that we comply with the European regulations.   We also
consider site activities which may have the potential to become commercial ventures moving forward – a good example of this is our Training Department and our specialist vehicle and plant operations training which is growing in popularity both locally and regionally.

We work with the partners of the CNSRP to ensure that our resources (both people and funding) are maximised to support delivery of various projects linked to the energy and business sector.

Over the last few months we have seen some projects starting to make real progress including the Scrabster harbour development, North Highland College Engineering Skills Centre and the Caithness Chamber of Commerce’s Make the Right Connections.  Local companies, too, are starting to pick up work from renewable companies as well as contracts further afield.  While the CNSRP recognise there is still a long way to go we should not forget these successes, especially in the present financial climate, and we should be congratuling those who have been instrumental in making these happen and look forward positively to the future.

Below is a list of just some of the activities that we have been involved in to give you a flavour of our contribution in support of the CNSRP:-

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has a duty to take account of the social and economic impact of closing down its sites like Dounreay.  The NDA has:

   Provided approximately £500,000 a year to DSRL for its activities in
   support of local socio-economic development.
   Established the North Highland Regeneration Fund, providing £1.5M to
   support new business and enterprise in a revolving loan scheme.
   Committed £2M towards the redevelopment of Scrabster Harbour
   Committed £2M towards the development of a new engineering skills centre
   at North Highland College
   Committed £4M to the Caithness and North Sutherland Fund, associated
   with the new low level waste disposal facility at Dounreay
   Continues to fund Caithness Chamber of Commerce for a variety of
   Supported a range of projects with funding for Wick harbour, Wick
   Enterprise Centre, Ormlie Community Association and other important
   local projects.

Babcock International Group, the current parent body organisation at Dounreay has:

   seconded Simon Coles to HIE to assist with inward investment initiatives
   – Simon provides 50% of his time to carry out this activity.
   carrying out a review of the Pensions Administration Office with a view
   to growing business in Caithness
   Providing support to the CNSRP programme manager to assist with the
   development of the CNSRP programme
   and is considering a number of ways to strengthen its part in the
   alliance through delivery activities.

Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL):

   produces a socio economic development plan on a yearly basis which now
   aligns to the CNSRP programme
   provides support to the CNSRP programme
   part-funds the CNSRP programme manager’s post along with Highlands and
   Islands Enterprise
   part funded a feasibility study, with Highland Council, on the options
   to improve transportation on the Berriedale Braes
   part funded a socio economic study aiming to update the 2006 study
   provided funding towards the Chamber of Commerce’s Make the Right
   Connections project
   part funded, with Highland Council, a two-year STEM project to ensure
   that science, technology, engineering and mathematic subjects are
   integral to the school curriculum

For further information on the Dounreay alliance you can visit
Simon Middlemas
Managing Director