Blog & News

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


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Weekly update, 4th December 2017

Energy & business services:
• The installation of all 86 sets of foundation piles for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm was completed this week – a major project milestone for the company. As I have previously highlighted, work has started on the installation of the jackets which sit on the foundations, and vessels have also been working on the laying of inter array cables.

Beatrice Offshore Winfarm Export Cable being buried by Nexans “Skagerrak”, and inter-array cabling being installed by Siem Stingray and Siem Aimery off the Caithness coast, December 2017. (Image courtesy BOWL)

• Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has been in the news this week as its staff have been battling on the frontline of operations to help communities affected by Storm Caroline. SSEN also continues to make progress with the huge convertor station at Spittal in Caithness. It is part of the £1.1Bn Caithness-Moray project, which has brought considerable economic benefit to the north during the construction phase of the last three years. You can read about the project, and view striking night-time aerial images of the site at

Tourism, Food & Drink:
• A reminder for tourism businesses that Digital Tourism Scotland (a partnership that includes CNSRP partners Highland Council/ Business Gateway, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Government) will be sponsoring a briefing session in Thurso next week on the subject of “The future of digital tourism and online booking”. Aimed at tourism businesses, it is free to attend, and will take place in Caithness Horizons, Thurso on 12th December. Businesses wishing to book a place should visit

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 took part this week in a very well-attended Caithness Community Planning Partnership session with residents from the Lybster, Dunbeath & Berriedale locality. The purpose of the meeting was to add further detail to the community’s views on key issues, and to articulate them so that partners can begin to look at actions that can be undertaken to address inequalities. It was good to see acknowledgement of how interlinked issues such as employment, transport, housing and digital are. More on the work of the CCPP is at
• It’s always good to be reminded of the excellent work coming out of Wick High School, and the success of the Envirocache team in particular. This BBC news story is a reminder of WHS’s amazing track record in developing technology projects, and highlights the great support Envirocahe have had from Caithness Chamber of Commerce and Interface.
• The John O’ Groat Journal’s Gordon Calder this week reported the potential development of a new oil field in the Moray Firth off the coast of Caithness. I was asked to give a comment, and told Gordon that, whilst CNSRP’s focus is on opportunities West of Shetland, the news was a useful reminder that there was still interest in oil & gas exploration in the north sea area.
• Great to see that architects Reiach and Hall have won an award for their work on Nucleus – the NDA and Caithness Archives – in Wick. The Architects’ Journal commended the project, saying “this is an exceptional piece of architecture materially, aesthetically and functionally: it’s made well, looks stunning and fulfils, indeed exceeds, its brief – effectively reimagining what an archive building can be in both form and function.” CNSRP partners the NDA and Highland Council can feel very proud of the facility, which now employs over 25 people.