Blog & News

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


Download CSNRP Vision Document 2017

Weekly update, 23rd and 30th April

Energy & business services:
This week saw a large number of businesses from the north in Glasgow to attend the annual All-Energy Exhibition and Conference. All-Energy is the UK’s biggest renewable energy event, and in conjunction with CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), the businesses exhibited over two days in the HI-Energy pavilion, once again providing the largest regional presence at the show. More on the event is at

Scrabster Harbour trust welcomed the first cruise ship of the 2018 season this week. The 600 passenger Astoria docked in sunny weather, and it was great to see Venture North volunteers on the street in Thurso to welcome passengers taking advantage of the shuttle bus service. Others, meanwhile were taken on trips to attractions such as the Castle & Gardens of Mey and Wolfburn Distillery. The Astoria is one of 12 scheduled visits this season. For more details on the cruise ship timetable see

The cruise ship Astoria visited Scrabster on 1st May, marking the start of the port’s 2018 cruise ship season.

Volunteers from Venture North greet the first cruise ship passengers of 2018 as they visit Thurso Town Centre.

Enabling activities:
Last week I attended a meeting of Caithness members of CNSRP partner Highland Council, where I was able to update on progress with the CNSRP Programme, and discuss current and future opportunities to grow our area’s economy. Also at the meeting was John Robertson, the Council’s Programme Manager for the Inverness & Highland City-Region Deal, who outlined some of the key projects being taken forward by partners. One of these is the attraction of full-fibre broadband to Highland towns, including Wick and Thurso – this would bring a significant boost to connection speeds for businesses where extended bandwidth was critical. To support the establishment of demand for the programme, businesses are this week being encouraged to apply for a UK-wide “Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme”. Businesses can claim up to £3,000 against the cost of connection either individually or as part of a group project. Residents can benefit from the scheme as part of a group project which also includes businesses, and can claim for a voucher of up to a value of £500. More detail on the scheme is 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:

Energy North, the supplement issued by Scottish Provincial Press, was published last week. It contains an interesting piece on the recent “Project of the Year” award given by the Royal Incorporation of Chartered Surveyors to SSE for its £1bn Caithness-Moray electricity grid reinforcement project, which has brought economic benefits to the area during its construction phase, and will provide crucial enabling infrastructure for renewable energy projects across the north.

One of a series of public presentations given on the CNSRP Programme.

We are currently looking at our programme of presentations for the year, and it is likely that we will be returning to the Dounreay site to repeat our successful series of staff talks. Iain Grant’s story in the Press and Journal of last week reminded readers of the severance programme being worked through at Dounreay, and the ongoing CNSRP work to pursue economic opportunities. I spoke to Iain about the CNSRP programme of work as he was writing his piece, which available to read at