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Weekly update, 4th February 2013

Tourism, Food & Drink:
The Institute of Design Innovation has been working with a small group of tourism businesses in Caithness & North Sutherland on a HIE-funded programme to stimulate innovation in creating high quality visitor experiences. The cluster of businesses meets regularly with facilitators from the Institute, and its progress can be seen at

Tourism Intelligence Scotland is promoting a workshop run by Wild Scotland on “Wildlife Tourism” for tourism businesses. The workshop will be held in Lairg Community Centre on 20th February – for bookings and more information see

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:

  • “This is Caithness” was published last week as a Supplement to the John O’Groat Journal. Coordinated by colleagues at Dounreay, it features a range of articles on key activities helping the area economy to grow and diversify. Copies are available from outlets in the area, as well as from the Dounreay office at Olrig Street in Thurso.
  • On a wider level, CNSRP partners continue to work on ways of reaching influencers in key economic zones. Discussions took place this week with representatives from the Scottish Council for Development & Industry on a possible London event aimed at key business figures, and focused on business opportunities in our area.
  • Caithness Chamber of Commerce has announced that it will be moving premises, for the first time bringing all staff together under one roof at the Naver Business Centre in Thurso. The Chamber will also manage the Centre on behalf of Naver Ltd. For further information see
  • I was delighted to meet up this week with Helen Mackay at the impressive new premises for her company HelCat Training Ltd. Since setting up last year the business has gone from strength to strength, and the company’s new base at Ormlie provides a good venue for training, in addition to the online training and accreditation options the company has also developed. More information at