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Weekly update, 23rd February 2015

Energy & Business Services

Energy & Utility Skills and Scottish & Southern Energy have this week been advertising an exciting Employability Programme, based in part from North Highland College UHI in Thurso. The programme is aimed at people for whom finding work in the energy sector without previous experience is proving to be a barrier. It is a 10 week voluntary programme of training and work experience. A “Visibility Day” is being held at North Highland College’s ETEC for those interested in taking part in the programme, and interested people are invited to apply by Wednesday 4th March. For more details and to apply please see or please email

The Department for Energy & Climate Change (DECC) announced the recipients of “Contracts for Difference” in the Onshore and Offshore Wind sector this week. There was no offer made in this round to Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd (MORL), one of the two consortiums developing offshore wind sites in the Moray Firth. The other consortium, Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL), has already received a contract offer, and is in detailed discussion with Wick Harbour Authority (WHA) regarding its requirements. The development of Wick Harbour for energy sector uses is one of the major projects on CNSRP’s high-level programme, and WHA is being supported in these important discussions by CNSRP partners Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Cavendish Nuclear (whose Shona Kirk has been seconded part-time to WHA to help with project management).

Tourism, Food & Drink

Congratulations to Jim and Mary Cowie and their team at the Captain’s Galley restaurant in Scrabster for scooping the award for UK Sustainable Restaurant of the Year at the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s awards ceremony in London this week. Jim and Mary were presented with their award by renowned chef, TV personality and President of the SRA Raymond Blanc.

Enabling activities:

Caithness Science Festival returns in March with another full programme of events. The Festival is supported by CNSRP partners the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (via its role as coordinators of the STEM  North of Scotland project). More on the Festival, which starts on Tuesday 17th March at 6.30pm in Pulteneytown Academy in Wick, at


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: