Blog & News

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


Download CSNRP Vision Document 2017

Weekly update, 3rd & 10th Septmber

Energy & Business Services:

Tomorrow (Monday 17th) CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise, in association with the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and Scottish Government, is launching a programme called “Fit For Offshore Renewables (F4OR)” This  is a service to help the UK supply chain get ready to bid for work in the offshore renewable energy sector. Based on the success of the Fit for Nuclear (F4N) programme, which has helped more than 700 companies through the initial self-assessment and granted F4N status to around 150 manufacturers, ORE Catapult is working with industry to develop F4OR as a pilot programme. The overall objective of the programme is to increase competitiveness to support the continued cost reduction in offshore renewables whilst simultaneously securing long-term economic benefits. For more information, and to submit an expression of interest in the programme, see

Enabling activities:

More evidence of progress with the Thurso Newton Room, September 2018

The local steering group helping develop a “Newton Room” at North Highland College UHI met this week, and heard updates on progress with the project. Members were delighted to hear that, following a period of planning and procurement, real progress was being made on both the learning modules and on the college space itself. Contacts with primary and secondary schools in Caithness and north Sutherland were taking place, and a prospectus was now available to support discussion with potential private sector sponsors. It is hoped that the physical space will be completed by the end of this year, with delivery of inspirational learning experiences beginning in the new year. I was particularly pleased to hear exciting ideas coming forward from the private sector on how to make best use of the facility. And on a similar subject it was a real pleasure to see last weekend that the Herald on Sunday’s “Top 100 Coolest People” in Scotland featured former Wick High School student Ellora James, whose App-building skills have helped Wick High School achieve national recognition for its digital skills programmes.

The Annual “Taste North” event returns to the area again this month, with the 2018 venue being the Natural Retreats complex at John O’ Groats on Sunday 30th September from 11am til 4.30pm. This event has become well established, with a wide range of tourism, crafts, food and drink businesses exhibiting, as well as demonstration events from well-known personalities such as Chef Tony Singh . You can see an excellent selection of the businesses participating by visiting the organisation’s Facebook page 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:

  • The CNSRP Executive Board met this week, chaired for the first time by Ian Ross, who succeeded Sir Anthony Cleaver as Independent Chair in July. The board discussed current programme activities, welcoming the recent progress with the proposed Spaceport in north Sutherland, and agreeing to take a closer look at forward programme activities.

    Ian Ross took over as CNSRP’s Independent Chair on 25th June 2018.

  • Last Saturday I attended the Dounreay Family Fun Day, taking a stand with CNSRP related material to what was a very well attended event. Many questions came from people visiting the stands, and it was interesting to note how many were about the proposed spaceport in north Sutherland.

    Setting up the CNSRP stand at the Dounreay Family Fun Day, Saturday 6th September 2018.

  • Yesterday (Saturday 15th) I was delighted to be invited to the Graduation ceremony for North Highland College UHI – there were a large number of Graduands, and it was great to see the range of awards being achieved (PhD, Honours/ Ordinary degrees, Diplomas, HNDs and SVQs). The ceremony’s guest speakers was Rob Connelly, Chair of the Board of Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. His inspiration talk to students carried the memorable advice “If you want to feel old, just stop learning.”
  • I was invited this week by CNSRP partner the NDA to deliver a presentation on CNSRP to Mr Hideki Niizuma, the Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology in the Japanese government. Mr Niizuma and his team visited Dounreay, but were also particularly keen to understand more about how the CNSRP approach to community economic transition had come about, and how it was making a difference to the area.