Blog & News

Here you will find out all of our latest updates through News and Blog pages.


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Weekly update, 6th June

Energy & Business Services:

  • A further element of detail is added to the emerging picture of contract awards associated with the £2.6 Bn Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project, with the news this week that Tier 1 supply chain company Siemens has awarded the contract to install up to 84 turbines to Swire Blue Ocean. It is expected that installation of the 7MW turbines will begin in 2018. More at
  • Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd (MORL) is the other consortium with plans to develop an offshore wind site in the Moray Firth, and it has announced this week its intention to undertake public consultation on the western part of its large development area. It has already received consent to develop the eastern part of its area, but awaits the opportunity to seek a Contract for Difference (CfD) from the UK Government.

Tourism, Food & Drink:

  • As the summer tourism season in the north hits full speed, it’s great to see another of the blogs being featured by Venture North. This group of north businesses is working hard to reach visitors using a variety of media, and is making good use of the support it has so far received from VisitScotland and CNSRP partner the NDA. This time Laura Morgan blogs about her love of the north and her fascination with its place and plant names. You can read Laura’s piece (and all the others in the series) at
  • Also this week a very interesting look into the future of tourism from the team at high-growth Scottish company SkyScanner, who have worked with a range of contributors to produce “The Future of Travel – 2024”. The online report looks at some of the technologies that may influence the way people travel, and the way the travel industry will need to develop.

Enabling activities:

  • CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is holding a one-day business event in Inverness this month in association with the Middle East High Growth Markets Unit (HGMU). The HGMU in collaboration with HIE is leading a market visit to the UAE and Kuwait in November 2016. Colin Crabbe, manager of the HGMU, will explain more about the support available to help fast-track Highlands and Islands businesses in the Middle East. Attendees will learn how to set up in Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone, one of the seven emirates that comprise the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Attendees will also learn from the experience, expertise and advice of GlobalScot John R McCallum. To book a place see
  • Ashley Ann, the Caithness-based design and manufacturing business, has launched a new website which was designed for it by Kenny McArthur of North Design, and developed by Navertech. The website features a great film of company founders Stephen and Ellen Bremner and their family from Jill Innes at Storyboard Films. All three companies are Thurso-based, and providing top quality support to highlight Ashley Ann’s quality reputation in the design and manufacture of kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms. The company is a significant employer in Caithness.


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:

  • I was out at the Dounreay site this week with Simon Middlemas to continue delivering the joint presentation on future jobs prospects in the area. We delivered this to Dounreay Trade Union safety reps in April, and received very useful feedback. This time we delivered lunchtime talks to two separate groups of people drawn from the Dounreay workforce, and had lively debates on a range of issues including skills development, infrastructure, recruitment, talent attraction. We have so far delivered the presentation to around 100 people at Dounreay, and we are keen to continue delivering this presentation both to the Dounreay  wider groupings within the area. If you would like to hear more please get in touch!
  • SPP’s recent Energy North supplement is now online, with its coverage of the announcement that the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project has reached Final Investment Decision stage. I was delighted be one of a number of people asked to comment on the news.
  • News this week that Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of HIE, is to leave his post to become Chief Executive of Historic Environment Scotland. Alex has been an active member of the CNSRP Executive Board since 2010, and leaves HIE in good health, having last year celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of predecessor body HIDB in 1965.