Blog & News

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


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Weekly update, 4th and 11th June

Energy & Business Services:

  • I’m looking forward next week to meeting with representatives of Sykes @ Home when they come to Caithness to begin a recruitment process for Homeworkers. CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise has continued to work on attracting business services opportunities to the north, and this one will be of interest to many people in the area. Sykes describes itself as “a family of global businesses delivering business process outsourcing services”, and it is looking to increase its customer service staff by up to 100, the majority of which will be on permanent contracts and working between 16 and 40 hours a week. The new SYKES team will be working for a leading technology client. Applicants don’t need specialist knowledge, and full training will be provided by telephone and online. There will be a drop-in event in the Pentland Hotel, Thurso on Tuesday 19th June from 4pm-8pm: the event will include presentations from SYKES representatives and opportunities to ask questions, as well as videos about the company and details about the positions available. More information on the opportunity at or from
  • Yet another milestone reached for Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project, as 75% of the jackets for the offshore turbines have now been installed. The first turbines are due to be installed next month, bringing another visual indication of the scale of the development coming together off the Caithness coast.

Enabling activities:

  • The regional board of the Developing the Young Workforce programme in Caithness and Sutherland met in Helmsdale this week to review progress. It was great to hear of the positive progress being made within the various school networks, and to hear of the very proactive work taking place in both Caithness and Sutherland in terms of bringing schools and industry together. The DYW initiative is managed in the north by Caithness Chamber of Commerce.


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 delivered an update presentation to members of the Dounreay Stakeholder Group this week at its public meeting in Thurso. I highlighted the ten years of progress we have seen, pointing to areas where concepts have begun turning into reality as we support the transition of the area’s economy. It was particularly good to get positive feedback after the meeting from members of the DSG and the public in attendance.

    Visitors from Dumfries and Galloway Council were in Caithness this week to see how we approach economic transition.

  • I welcomed three members of staff from Dumfries and Galloway Council this week, who are taking forward activities to move the area economy around the Chapelcross nuclear decommissioning site beyond its current dependence on nuclear work. The visit was arranged following our presentations at last year’s NDA Stakeholder event in Cumbria, and it was particularly good to be able to introduce them to Sandy Mackie at Scrabster Harbour Trust, who outlined the Trust’s successful approach to development. Collaborating and sharing knowledge with other areas has become a key feature of the attention CNSRP activities are now attracting regionally, nationally and internationally.
  • Last week Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd continued its series of short films on aspects of the Dounreay programme with a look at socio-economic activities. The film looks at how the Dounreay partners (DSRL, Cavendish Dounreay Partnership and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority) work together through CNSRP to support key areas of future employment opportunity. The film includes comment from Phil Craig, Anna MacConnell, June Love, Willie Watt, Stephen Adamson and myself.
  • It was good this week to see the results of the intensive process that has been going on with a number of stakeholders in Caithness regarding the future of healthcare in the north. Four facilitated workshop sessions in the county have led to a consensus view on the redesign of services, which will be subject to wider consultation as options are refined. Broadly speaking they involve a refurbishment of Caithness General Hospital and the creation of two healthcare “Hubs/ villages” in Wick and Thurso. More details on this, and proposed next steps, is at