Blog & News

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


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Weekly update, 13th November

Energy & business services:
• A reminder that SeaCat Services, the operators of the crew transfer vessels that will support both construction and operations work for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm (BOWL) project, will be running a recruitment event in Wick next week for those interested in working on the vessels. SeaCat are seeking suitably qualified candidates for roles such as Master, Mate and Deckhand, and will be hosting a drop-in session at Wick Job Centre, Girnigoe Street, Wick from 9am til 12pm on Thursday 23rd November. To find out more about the roles, and other information, please see
• It’s good to see the progress at AGM Batteries in Thurso reflected in its current drive to recruit additional staff. As I have previously mentioned here, the company has been at the forefront of recent developments in the UK regarding battery cell technology, particularly in the automotive industry, with AGM leading a consortium of companies last year awarded funding for research into the next generation of battery technology.

Enabling Activities:
• I attended a meeting in Thurso this week of the large number of local sports clubs who came together back in 2014/15 to develop the Thurso Sports Hub concept Representatives from Sports Scotland, HighLife Highland also attended, and heard about the very clear need for such facilities in the area. Discussions with local, regional and national bodies have been taking place since 2014 to move forward proposals to develop a facility on Viewfirth field in Thurso, on land currently owned by CNSRP partner the NDA. The project was part of the CNSRP 2014-17 Programme, and although it does not feature on the 2017-2020 Programme, I have offered to bring together potential funding bodies to look at a way forward for the project.

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:
• The CNSRP Delivery Group continues to work together to help progress the main projects on the CNSRP Programme. This week the group met and discussed progress with projects, as well as discussing and agreeing how projects are assessed and potentially prioritised for active support from partners. This should also allow the current discussions on the remaining opportunity in our programme (Oil & Gas West of Shetland) to be taken forward, agreed, fully scoped and planned.
• I’m pleased to have the newly redesigned CNSRP website going live today (Friday) – with the kind support of DSRL and the Developing the Young Workforce programme Navertech have designed a very sleek, modern-looking site, and as part of our continuing work to engage with young people in particular the site now features a developing section titled “The Economy Challenge”, where you can manually raise and lower projections for future jobs potential in the key CNSRP priority areas. The Challenge pages at will also provide a link on into CNSRP partner Skills Development Scotland’s My World of Work website, where visitors can get more information on some of the job types that might relate to these future opportunities. We will continue to grow this part of the site, working with DYW and SDS along with other partners.
• NHS Highland has this week announced a welcome funding increase for ambulance provision in Caithness, which has been the subject of much concern.
• Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL) this week applied to Highland Council for planning permission for what is being described as “phase three” of the decommissioning of the Dounreay site. The application covers a series of major decommissioning projects due to take place between 2018 and the anticipated “interim end state” date for the site (currently estimated to be reached between 2030 and 2033). We have been working with DSRL to understand the expected staffing profile for DSRL between now and interim end state, and are currently working with DSRL to understand the anticipated supply chain implications for these major projects, which will see significant changes to the Dounreay skyline as buildings are taken down. For more information on the application see