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Weekly update, 4th February 2019

SpaceHub Sutherland:

Jobs and How to Get Them 2019 in full swing at NH College

The SHS team were in the Kyle Community Centre in Tongue for the first of a planned weekly presence in the area on Wednesdays between 1000 to 1300 hrs to allow people to meet with the project team.  They would welcome anyone with a question to pop in and meet. As I mentioned last week, the project team have also created a web presence at which will be a central resource for information about the project as it progresses. Chris Larmour, the Chief Executive of Orbex Space, was also on the north coast this week, talking to pupils at Tongue Primary school. Orbex, one of two space industry companies currently involved in the project, also this week unveiled the design of its launcher at an event in Forres, where the company is now based. The event achieved widespread media coverage, including television coverage on BBC and STV.

Enabling activities:

The annual multi-agency “Jobs and How To Get Them” event was held yesterday (Saturday 9th) under the management of Caithness Chamber of Commerce, and despite awful weather conditions there was another excellent turnout from both visitors and exhibiting companies. It was good to see the continuing increase in the use of virtual reality on exhibitor stands, and great to see the level of interest from visitors of all ages. For photos of the event visit

Visitors to the Beatrice Offshore/ Siemens Gamesa stand

Caithness Chamber is working with Caithness Voluntary Group and HIE to run workshops in Thurso and Wick on 27th February. Focusing on “phishing” (where criminals pose as a legitimate institution in order to lure individuals into providing sensitive information), these one hour free sessions will teach attendees the anatomy of a phishing email. Not only that, you’ll get a chance to create your very own phishing email – a great way to get a better understanding of the kinds of techniques used in these emails so that you are better prepared to spot them. To book a place check at either or

There is a final chance to book a place at the “Pitching Skills” workshop that is coming to Caithness on 21st February. 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 book a place see

I also mentioned last week that 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 on March 1st 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. You can book to attend this event 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 recruitment of a new CNSRP Manager to carry forward the work of the Partnership continues, and it was good to see interest in the post from some attendees at this week’s Jobs and How To Get Them event in Thurso (see above). With an ambitious programme of work ahead, the new post will provide an excellent opportunity to play a vital part in the move towards a post-Dounreay economy in the north. The application deadline date is 20th February, and more details and application form are at
  • I look forward to chairing a meeting of the Caithness Community Planning Partnership next week. The meeting is open to the public and will be held at the Pulteney Centre, Wick, on Wednesday 13th February. For more on the Community Planning Partnership see