Blog & News

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Weekly update, 21st January 2019

SpaceHub Sutherland:

The team working on this exciting project have now created a web presence at which will be a central resource for information about the project as it progresses. And the team will be on the ground in Melness next week, continuing the series of engagement events with the local community. The drop-in event will be in Melness Village Hall from 3.30pm to 8pm on Thursday 31st January, and will look at issues such as the environment. It was also good this week to see that space industry partners Lockheed Martin were represented at the Sutherland “Jobs and How to Get Them” event that was held in Golspie. The event was supported by a record number of businesses, and attracted a number of school-age visitors. The Caithness event will be held at North Highland College’s ETEC facility on Saturday 9th February from 10am – 2pm and to find out more about some of the exhibitors visit

Enabling activities:

Caithness Chamber of Commerce has been working with HIE to bring together a series of workshops under the Digital Tourism Scotland banner, and the latest of these is being run in Thurso next week on the subject of “How to Increase Conversions and Online Bookings”. These are really practical sessions, and are well received by tourism businesses across the area – to find out more, and to book a place, please see

And on a related theme, a “Pitching Skills” workshop is coming to Caithness next month. This is a session not just for those in “dragon’s den” situations, but for anyone who works in a business and does any sort of public or business-to-business speaking. Led by Maryanne Johnston, who has significant pitching/ presentation skills experience, it is being delivered through the Entrepreneurial Academy developed by HIE. To find out more, and to book a place see

As we get closer to 29th March, the date on which the United Kingdom is due to leave the EU, we will continue to work with businesses in the area to ensure maximum awareness of the need to plan for Brexit. HIE has an excellent self-assessment tool for businesses, together with a range of advice and support, all available at and we are looking forward to taking part in the business breakfast event on Brexit, which is being run by Caithness Chamber of Commerce in its role as a Europe Direct Information Centre (


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:

  • A reminder that HIE is currently advertising for a full-time Senior Development Manager to work as part of our Strengthening Communities team in Caithness and Sutherland: having worked in Strengthening Communities in Caithness and Sutherland, I know just how rewarding the area of work can be. The advert has a closing date of 3rd February. More details and application at
  • HIE is also seeking to appoint a project administrator to support the work associated with the Space Hub Sutherland project. The post is advertised with a potential base in either Thurso or Inverness, and has a deadline for applications of 3rd February. Application details are at
  • Delighted to hear that Thurso-based artist and jewellery maker Lindsey Gallagher is to feature in Sky Arts’ “Portrait Artist of the Year” programme, with the episode due to screen on 19th February. Lindsey has recently completed an innovative partnership with Dunnet Bay Distillers on its latest seasonal Rock Rose Gin product. More info on her work is at 
  • The legendary Monte Carlo Rally has a local flavour this year, with Monday seeing a fleet of “heritage” vehicles setting off from John O’Groats to the official start of the rally at Clydebank. This year marks 80 years since the last car to leave John O’Groats on the famous rally! More info on this is at
Thurso harbour, January 2019