Over the last few months we have had some key changes at Northern Light whilst continuing to provide our services to long-standing and new clients. In May, we welcomed two new members to the team. Neil Macdonald, joined us as a project manager and design engineer, with vast experience within the aquaculture industry. Morna Baillie also joined the team with a MEng from Strathclyde Uni in 2021. Neil and Morna are settling in well and have already undertaken training and are starting to develop projects.
The third and final stage of Thomas Telford Corpach Marina is progressing well, with Gael Force awarded the contract to begin construction of the floating marina structure in March 2022. We continue to support the project with project management and funding administration works. Project Manager Shona MacLeay was delighted to welcome back Local MSP and Cabinet Secretary for Finance Kate Forbes to the marina to update on progress and opening plans.
We are delighted to have partnered with Fjord Maritime as their UK base. Earlier this month we welcomed them to Fort William – and what better welcome than, a very speedy, jaunt up Ben Nevis!
Over the past few months we have been working on a project for HIE lead by Economist Steve Westbrook. The project is to consider and develop an options appraisal and feasibility study for the prospect of a West Highland Energy Centre, proposed to be in Mallaig. This study looks to explore options for a sustainable energy centre providing training and support to off-grid communities and explore and identify opportunities to integrate training and learning that will benefit the wider community and organisations.
We have carried out consultation with a number of stakeholders including community representatives, academia and industry bodies. We were delighted to organise a recent virtual roundtable to get all these parties in the one (virtual) room. We are now in the process of writing up our findings and look forward to seeing how this project progresses.
We have been delighted to once again work with our colleagues at DSW Associates in Argyll on the Aros site project located adjacent to Tobermory Harbour. Tobermory Harbour Association purchased the Aros Waterfront site in August 2019, with the view to developing the site on behalf of the local community.
They have plans to transform this site into an outdoor activity hub, creating an anchor for wider park activities and safe access points for water sport activities within Tobermory bay. The Aros waterfront development is a long-term multi-phase project with an overarching objective to create a hub for community well-being, outdoor activities, and educational opportunities, as well as opportunities for new enterprises and sustainable outdoor tourism experiences.
On behalf of the harbour authority we are currently carrying out a Social, Economic and Environmental Impact Assessment. A key area of this is to establish potential demand for the site and to discuss how it can be developed for the best use of the community. NLC have supported the project by undertaken an infrastructure assessment and economic feasibility consultation.
Over the past month we have providing industry insight to potential investors on the fantastic and broad opportunities within Scottish aquaculture. This covered key areas such as fish health & welfare, RAS technologies, sustainability, climate change and the regulatory landscape. A slightly different piece of work, on a tight timeline but we love a challenge!
This month some of the team headed to the Otter Ferry Seafish Marine Aquaculture Innovation open day. The new facility in partnership with Agri-EPI Centre and Innovate UK, based on Loch Fyne, hopes to help drive innovation and sustainable solutions and improve efficiency for the UK aquaculture industry. Check out the new facility here: Aquaculture Innovation Centre.
And finally.. its no secret there is a lack of affordable homes within the Highlands and Islands with new research showing home prices in coastal areas are above Scottish average. A new campaign championed by Salmon Scotland and lead by Salmon farmers calls for £10million-a-year in license fees to be reinvested in affordable housing to tackle the growing property crisis in rural Scotland. Find out more about this great proposal here: https://www.salmonscotland.co.uk/licensing-fee-rural-housing-crisis
As always please do get in touch if there is a project or anything you feel we could support!