North Companies take to Global Stage at All-Energy Exhibition
A number of ambitious Caithness companies are heading to Aberdeen this week to target new business at the UK's largest renewable energy event.
The All-Energy Exhibition & Conference this year has attracted over 500 exhibitors from 20 countries across the world. Being held on Wednesday and Thursday, it is a key event for Caithness and Sutherland businesses seeking opportunities in manufacturing or supply for wind, wave, tidal, hydro and biomass technologies.
Caithness Chamber of Commerce is taking a number of local companies on its stand, under the banner of its 'Invest Caithness' initiative, a partnership project funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).
Chamber Chief Executive Trudy Morris said: "Given the area's on-going work in the energy sector, All-Energy is one of the most important events of the calendar for Caithness Chamber members. Our stand has been very busy over the past two years, and we expect attendance to be even greater this year.
"Our Invest Caithness brand gives us the opportunity to promote and raise awareness of the key assets and capabilities of the area. We will be sharing the space with local companies such as Energy Hunt, Mowat Technical Design Services & Caledonia Green Innovation, Scrabster Harbour Trust, Ignis Energy, Wick Harbour Authority and New Park Ltd as well as carrying information on a range of other local businesses.
"We will also be promoting our new "Make The Right Connections" skills programme which has been funded by the European Social Fund, NDA, Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd and Skills Development Scotland (SDS). This programme aims to redefine the skills of the local area, match them to the requirements of the emergent sectors, assist in addressing the skills gap and train for the future. We firmly believe Caithness and north Sutherland has much offer and benefit the global energy market."
A number of local companies will also be taking their own All-Energy exhibition space. These include the Environmental Research Centre with the University of the Highlands and Islands and Scrabster with the Port Services Group.
Caithness based renewable engineering firm EnergyHunt, which delivers engineering and marine project management services for a wide range of international renewables clients, will also be there.
EnergyHunt's founder and director, Richard Hunt said: "We are currently winning energy contracts in the north and elsewhere through new and repeat business with utilities, technology developers and in offering project support for larger consultancies from outwith the area. We see All-Energy as an opportunity to promote our services, skills and experience and to bring added commerce to the area."
HIE will be featuring 68 Highlands and Islands companies through its stand under the "HIE Energy" brand.
Calum Davidson, HIE's new Director of Energy & Low Carbon, said: "Our area is home to arguably the best combination of natural resources, technology development, testing and deployment infrastructure and a highly skilled and expert workforce and supply chain. Events like this allow us to work with global businesses to ensure we create the right conditions at the right time allowing our local companies to be fully integrated into UK and European supply chains."
Wick Harbour Authority is making progress with its plans to create a heavy-lift facility on the commercial quay at Wick harbour, with contractors Gunns Lybster Ltd having now begun the work. The project, and its associated dredging works, was supported by CNSRP partners HIE and NDA respectively and is the first of several proposed phases of work to position the harbour as a key player in the energy sector, with the current focus being on potential to benefit from the development of Offshore Wind in the Moray Firth.
Caithness Chamber of Commerce has been set into action following announcments about the rollout of rual braodband as Caithness will not see any benefit for some time yet. The chamber has contacted their meber businesses but would be interested to hear from any Caithness business that thinks slow broadband is affecting their business.
Influential energy trade body Energy North has unveiled an ambitious new two-year business strategy which will see the organisation grow its physical presence and increase its support for member businesses and industry development across the North of Scotland. Over the coming months Energy North is to recruit three regionally-based area developers covering Caithness, Ross-shire and Inverness, Moray, Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire, and Argyll and Lochaber, with chief executive, Ian Couper leading on Shetland, Orkney and the Outer Hebrides.
Wick Harbour Authority’s ambitious plans to attract new jobs to the area from the offshore wind industry have received a boost with the combined support of £450,000 from two partners in the Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership (CNSRP). The Harbour Authority is positioning the port to attract business from the two large offshore wind developments in the Moray Firth, and is currently working on a multi-phase programme to ensure that its facilities meet the requirements of industry.
The Highland Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) has awarded funding of £30,098 to Wick Harbour Authority for the purchase of additional infrastructure to increase the capacity at Wick Marina from 72 to 84 berths. Interpretation panels will also be installed in the area around the harbour to promote the maritime heritage of Wick and provide information regarding the diversification process to create a modern port.
There are now just a few days remaining to book a place at our Networking and Meet the Buyer events, held in partnership with SSE. These events are a great way to make contacts with and hear all the latest information from SSE Procurement, SSE Transmission, SSE Renewables, Achilles and SSE's Tier 1 contractors.
Caithness Chamber Of Commerce recently held a marketing business breakfast, sponsored by Navertech. The event was extremely well attended and highly informative.
Caithness Chamber of Commerce is delighted to announce that entries are now open for the George Bruce Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2013. Now in its fourth year, the award aims to highlight a young, local businessperson who has displayed the necessary drive and determination to make their business a success.
Practical and useful ideas and time-saving tips to help you make strong applications for Business Awards The Federation of Small Businesses, in association with the Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards, is to pilot a workshop for all businesses in Caithness and Sutherland, knowing that winning awards, or being shortlisted, increases business. Businesses that win awards do better! Sponsored by Dounreay Communities Fund the event will take place on: Tuesday 16th April at dounreay.com Traill House, 7 Olrig Street, Thurso KW14 7BJ.
The first graduate to come through The Underwater Centre’s Fort William-based subsea training facility as a result of a Caithness Chamber of Commerce-led funding initiative has already secured a job in the industry. Kevin Macleod (30), of Caithness, who was working as an instrument technician with Johnson Controls at Dounreay until recently, has been taken on as an apprentice ROV pilot technician with Fugro, one of the world’s largest ROV operators.
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