Blog & News

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


Download CSNRP Vision Document 2017

Weekly Update, week ending 4th October

Space Hub Sutherland – Pre-planning Consultation Events


The plans to launch small satellites into orbit from Sutherland are reaching an exciting phase. Highlands and Islands Enterprise is getting ready to put a planning application to the Highland Council at the end of this year.

A series of open consultative events have been planned to further inform of the plans and to seek the views of the community and other interested parties: –

The full project team will be represented at the Melness Community Centre on Wednesday 2nd October and Monday 25th November.

Members of the local project team will also be available on the following dates/venues: –

Monday 4th November at the Boys’ Brigade Hall, Thurso

Tuesday 5th November at Skerray Village Hall

Wednesday 6th November at the Kyle Centre in Tongue

Thursday 7th November in Durness Village Hall

All meetings will be from 3.30 pm to 8.00 pm and are open to the public – no booking is necessary. See link below for details.

Energy Sector

Contact opportunities – Event 15th October in London

UKEF is holding its next ‘Supplier Fair’ in London in October. This could be a fantastic opportunity for some C&NS businesses to get involved in this exciting opportunity. Orascom Construction is looking to increase the level of UK content in several power and water projects in the Middle East, providing a detailed procurement list (also available as an Excel doc).

If this is of interest I can supply a flyer and a spreadsheet of the opportunities (Please email me – I’ve not attached these as this email would be blocked by spam filters) or look at the event website: and register you interest. As well as learning more about the project first hand there will be opportunities for 1-2-1s with Orascom’s procurement team but please be aware that all registrations will be vetted by Orascom for their approval.


Latest Contracts for Difference Round announced

Wind Power (including Offshore and Remote Island Wind) has secured 10 of the 12 Contracts for Difference (CfD) in the UK’s third auction, with 5.77GW of projects securing support starting as low as £39.65 per megawatt-hour – significantly lower than the last CfD auction, held in 2017.  Six Scottish projects were successful (741MW Total) with the largest individual award for SSE who received a CfD of £41.61/MWh for 454MW at its Seagreen 1 project off the coast of Angus.—phase-one-united-kingdom-uk44.html. In addition, 250MW of remote island wind has been awarded CfDs, including Ulisenis Power at £39.65 for the 189MW Muaitheabhal remote island wind project.

UK Energy Department BEIS said the results show that for the first-time renewables are expected to come online below market prices and without additional subsidy on bills.

Moray West, whilst not included in this round has announced continued commitment to the Moray Firth project: –

Here is a link to Renewable UK for a background explanation of Contracts for Difference for those that aren’t familiar with the process.

CNSRP Continues to work with numerous partners to advance the opportunities in this sector for the region.

Digital Support

As increased Digital connectivity is rolled out across the region, the opportunities for businesses to capitalise on their digital approach to business and compete in an ever-more-connected world also expand.  To support businesses, established community groups and social enterprises, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) announced a £456k investment in the refreshed #hellodigital facility in An Lochran, Inverness on Monday 30 September at a digital collaboration event.

More than 2,500 organisations across the region are expected to benefit from the programme. Over the next three years it will deliver specialist advice and events on topics such as data innovation, artificial intelligence (AI), sensors and internet of things (IoT), as well as robotics and cyber resilience. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are also able to seek support from the Digital Development Loan and Cyber Voucher Scheme.


‘Caithness Jobs and How to Get them’ event

The 7th annual Jobs Fair event is being held at Wick High School on Saturday 8th February 2020, from 10am until 1pm so save the date in your diary.  This event, run by the Developing the Young Workforce team helps put employers and prospective employees together – contact me if you’d like to be involved.  More details in future instalments.


Scotland was one of the first countries to adopt the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, setting a standard for national businesses to follow. Dunnet Bay Distillers, that makes the award-winning Rock Rose Gin, wanted to reduce its environmental footprint as it grew its business. Here’s how they’ve developed recyclable spirits packaging that eradicates the need to use a single use bottle and also reduces costs.


Tourism Sector

Highland Council Visitor Levy Consultation closing Oct 20th 2019

The Highlands welcome approximately four million overnight visitors a year, and another two million day-visitors, including from cruise ships.  The Council’s rationale for considering a Visitor Levy is that visitors should help contribute to the maintenance and development of the free public services and infrastructure they use. In the context of the Council’s budget pressures, the Council believes that revenue from a Levy could be used strategically to manage the impact of tourism and help the Council invest to ensure the region continues to be a great place to live and visit.

The Council has not yet made a decision on whether to implement a Transient Visitor Levy (TVL), also known as a Tourist Tax. In December 2018 it committed to consulting Highland residents, businesses and visitors on a potential scheme.

The Consultation, launched at the Environment, Development and Infrastructure (EDI) Committee on the 15th August, has been informed by detailed research into other regions’ and countries’ Visitor Levy schemes and the Council’s Pre-Consultation meetings with tourism industry stakeholders across Highland.

Running until 20th October 2019, the main Consultation consists of two components: an online questionnaire aimed at residents and tourism businesses, but also open to visitors; and targeted face-to-face questionnaires with visitors at locations across Highland, conducted by the Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism at Glasgow Caledonian University.  A short video explaining the Council’s position and the Consultation including an online questionnaire are available at

Findings from the Visitor Survey, Open Consultation and research will be reported to a Full Council meeting on 12 December 2019.