Partners involved in the effort to regenerate the economy of Caithness and North Sutherland say they are encouraged by the progress being made.
Businesses in the region are currently largely dependent on the Dounreay nuclear plant which is being decommissioned and scheduled for closure by 2025.
Members of the executive board of the Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership met in Thurso recently to hear reports from the partnership’s recently-appointed programme manager, Eann Sinclair. They also discussed specific issues such as the Pentland Firth Marine Energy Project and the forthcoming 2008 Caithness Conference.
On the same day the newly formed CNSRP advisory board met for the first time, with Highland Council convener Sandy Park in the chair. Afterwards he said:
“It was very encouraging to hear just how much is happening in Caithness. The advisory board members were pleased to hear about the number of actions being delivered, but also with the progress being made on major projects such as the development of tidal energy in the Pentland Firth. We encouraged partnership staff to take this message out to the communities of the north.”
Executive Board Chairman Sir Anthony Cleaver also felt that progress had been made:
“It’s important that people are able to keep up to date with news on the regeneration programme, so we fully accept the advisory board’s comments on this. The executive board has asked the programme manager to make communications a key priority over the coming months. We heard about the range of employment opportunities being pursued by our partners and we were all very excited about the potential for high quality jobs to come north.”
An updated version of the area’s Action Plan, shows that 13 of the original 50 actions have now been delivered. Eann Sinclair, the partnership’s new programme manager, said:
“We are now making good progress on many of the action plan projects, and we’re encouraged by the interest being shown in Caithness and north Sutherland. But an important part of my job is to make sure that everybody can share in that news as soon as is possible. So we’ll be using the web, email, newsletters and meetings to keep people up to date.”
Copies of the updated Action Plan, along with copies of the minutes of all partnership board meetings, can be downloaded from www.caithness.org/regeneration Eann can be contacted at 01847 896834 or at firstname.lastname@example.org