Blog & News

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


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Weekly update, 19th March 2018

Energy & Business services:
Interesting this week to read news of continuing interest in Floating Offshore Wind on the north cost of Caithness and Sutherland. As I’ve previously mentioned here, the Dounreay Tri project intended to build a Floating Offshore demonstrator project at a site around 6km north of Dounreay, but following that company’s entering into administration the future for the development was uncertain. However, Danish developer Floating Power Plant (FPP) and Ireland’s DP Energy have been considering plans for the north coast since 2016, and are now moving forward with plans to develop a wave/ floating offshore wind hybrid project off Dounreay . Orkney-based Aquatera is providing support to develop an Environmental Impact Assessment for the project. The “Katanes Floating Energy” project (named after the ancient name for Caithness) could be built around 2020. More at

An impression of the Katanes Floating Energy Ltd structure, which could be installed off the north coast of Caithness and Sutherland.

Enabling activities:
I was involved in a meeting this week that brought together members of the Thurso Community Sports Hub with the NDA and SportScotland. I have previously described how TCSH plans to develop a facility in Thurso to meet existing demand from a range of sports clubs currently constrained by lack of a practice/ training venue. We had a very constructive discussion on the project’s status, and on the crucial question of funding availability. The project was a part of the 2014-17 CNSRP Programme, but we retain an interest in it due to its value in helping create important social infrastructure in the north.

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 Advisory Board met in Wick today (Friday). As I have described before, the Board brings together a range of organisations such as community councils, trade unions, voluntary groups, Wick and Scrabster Harbour to help comment and advise on the CNSRP programme. Stephen Sheridan from CNSRP partner Skills Development Scotland updated on the Skills Investment Plan for Caithness and North Sutherland, and I updated members on progress with the main areas of activity on the CNSRP Programme. The meeting was once again chaired by Cllr Alasdair Christie, Depute Leader of Highland Council.

I was delighted to be invited this week to the official opening of Nucleus: The Nuclear and Caithness Archive. The opening of the £21M complex was carried out by The Princess Royal and hosted by CNSRP partners the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Highland Council, together with High Life Highland and commercial operator Restore UK. It was also good to see that Nucleus has this week been included on the shortlist for the 2018 awards from the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland

Nucleus (the Nuclear and Caithness Archives) was officially opened this week by HRH The Princess Royal.

CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise has commissioned a survey to gather feedback from individuals, businesses and community groups on access to banking services in rural areas. Indigo House Group is carrying out the work, and you can provide feedback to help inform the study by completing an online survey at