Farming, Fish Markets & Football!

After a disappointing start to the year with working-from-home and lockdown fatigue – we are delighted to end the year on high with numerous exciting and innovative projects at varying stages all progressing well.

In October we commenced a study on behalf of Aberdeenshire Council, investigating the feasibility of opening a fish market at Macduff Harbour. This study plays to the strengths of the whole team, with a mixture of research, consultation, infrastructure assessment and business case. We are also pleased to be working again with DWS Associates, who are supporting the project with financial projects and cost-benefit analysis.

We are also progressing some follow-up work for Aberdeenshire Council in forming a steering group to take forward recommendations from our feasibility study earlier this year investigating the opportunity for Seaweed cultivation in the North-East Coast.  Seaweed cultivation has the potential to grow substantially in the future if challenges in processing capacity can be overcome and the commercial opportunities are fully understood.

We are also supporting our long-standing Aquaculture clients with two large-scale developments at pre-construction stage. 

Greg and son Angus (10) who this year signed for the Fort William FC youth team were delighted to make a donation on behalf of Northern Light towards the cost of a new lawnmower for the club.  Fort William are currently playing their home games away, as the pitch was ruled to be in poor condition earlier in the season, but is now in excellent shape.  The club are still looking for donations to fund other improvements to preserve an important asset for the community.

Sarah has been busy with her role as  Innovation and Engagement Director at SAIC (Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre) recently collaborating with Lochaber Chamber of Commerce to bring their Aquaculture day to Lochaber Ideas Week. With a wide-varying programme of speakers and finally (!) the opportunity for in person networking and engagement – a successful day was had by all!

As part of Lochaber Ideas Week, Greg visited BSW for their ‘Tour of BSW.’ This was a great opportunity to see behind the scenes and learn more about the production process.

Earlier this month we were delighted to welcome long-standing client R3-IoT to our Fort William office, to support the growth of their innovative services within the Scottish Aquaculture industry. Their robust and resilient connectivity technology is currently integrated and deployed in a number of sectors including energy, rural health, utilities and environmental monitoring.  Aquaculture is the next step in the journey and we are working with them to develop the technology to best meet the needs of the sector.

Corpach Marina has made significant progress throughout 2021, with phases 1 and 2 reaching completion. We are now working with the client group to close the final funding gap to purchase marina breakwaters pontoons and linkspan – with a target to open in summer 2022.

We are also delighted to have recently been accepted as signatories of the Scottish Business Pledge – highlighting our commitment to ‘fairness, equality, opportunity and innovation in Scotland.’

As we enter the Christmas period we have a number of tenders in the pipeline due for submission with the possibility of some exciting projects and studies taking place at the turn of the year.

As ever please do get in touch if there is a project or anything you feel we could support!

Seaweed cultivation recommended as a viable business opportunity in North Aberdeenshire

Earlier this year, we were delighted to undertake a feasibility study for Aberdeenshire Council examining the opportunities available for seaweed cultivation on the North Aberdeenshire coast.

We looked at a number of suitable locations across this geographical area, consulted with potential end users and relevant stakeholders such as existing marine users and the local community.

As a result of this study NLC recommended to Aberdeenshire Council that there is a socially beneficial, technically feasible and commercially viable opportunity for seaweed cultivation to be carried out in the Aberdeenshire area.

The full report is now available via the following link: https://online.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/apps/news/release.aspx?newsID=8326

Scottish Business Pledge

Northern Light is delighted to now be accredited with the Scottish Business Pledge. This commitment promotes fairness, equality, opportunity and innovation in Scotland, which in turn creates greater economic success and sustainable, inclusive growth.

The values and ethos of the pledge very much reflects the values of Northern Light. For more information on the pledge please visit: https://scottishbusinesspledge.scot/

Services we provide: Grant Funding Support

A key part of supporting our clients with delivering projects  is ensuring they have the necessary funding streams in place to reach successful completion. Whether that may be the initial feasibility study or to complete the final phase of construction to take their project to the next level.

Over the last 3 years we have secured our clients almost £5 million in grant support of their projects, ranging from innovation/R&D projects in the aquaculture sector to new community facilities for local charities.

Funding applications have become very competitive with less support available, in part due to Brexit and Covid-19.  The application process can be challenging, to demonstrate that a project meets eligibility criteria and aligns with the aims of the fund, which often means very specific project objectives and outputs are required.

Just in the last few days grant funding streams such as The Scottish Government Blue Economy: Marine Fund and Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund have opened for expressions of interest.  We strive to ensure we are always up to date with the latest opportunities so we can support our clients in delivering the most effective applications.

https://www.gov.scot/publications/marine-fund-scotland-application-form/

https://www.visitscotland.org/supporting-your-business/funding/rural-tourism-infrastructure-fund

If your organisation or business is looking for support in securing grant funding for your project or service, please do get in touch and we would be happy to help.

Northern Lights newest recruits!

Covid-19 has changed the world we live in, including our working practices. Trying to strike the balance between work life and home life has become something that we have all had to contend with, whether it is adapting to working from home or home schooling. At a time in which life is challenging to us all, at Northern Light believe that flexibility is key.

This half-term Greg took Lucy and Angus to work! Northern Lights’ newest recruits headed on-site at Corpach, to check out the fantastic progress being made at Thomas Telford Corpach Marina.

*Whilst on site appropriate H&S measures including social distancing were in place*

Lochaber Chamber of Commerce – Meeting of Minds Event

Late last year we were delighted to be involved in Lochaber Chambers fantastic aquaculture insights event.

Topics covered included sustainability, business development and growth opportunities, innovations, career paths and skills training.

Northern Light Director, Greg Riddle, discussed the importance of delivering innovation projects in order to support sustainable growth within the aquaculture sector.

We were delighted to be involved in this fantastic event – and we look forward to attending any future sessions!

Merry Christmas from all at Northern Light!

This year, in lieu of Christmas cards and gifts, Northern Light have made a donation to Lochaber Mindfit. Lochaber MindFit is a peer-to-peer support group for residents of Lochaber with the express purpose of providing emotional support at difficult times for people who have been affected by the issue of anxiety, depression or suicide, whether through their own personal experience or a family member or friend. After this year, the work they contribute to the local community is ever more important.

We would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all our clients for their continuing support over the last year and wish them all a very Merry Christmas and happy and healthy 2021!

Beannachdan na r àithe agus gach deagh dhùrachd airson 2021!

Lochaber Chamber of Commerce – A Meeting of Minds

We are really looking forward to taking part in this very exciting new event for the aquaculture industry. Discussing all things innovation and opportunities it can provide!

Northern Light Director Greg Riddle will be speaking on the importance of delivering innovation projects in order to support sustainable growth within the aquaculture sector.

This virtual event will celebrate and explore the huge growth potential of Scotland’s aquaculture sector.

Register for tickets via the below:

https://www.thenational.scot/news/18873709.aquaculture-worth-1-8bn-economy/

Our Virtual Trip to Nova Scotia!

Last week, Northern light took part as a delegate on Lochaber Chamber of Commerce’s first virtual trade mission to Nova Scotia. In the ever changing world we have found ourselves in technology has become a key tool over the last few months. A virtual trade mission – perhaps a concept we could have only have imagined a matter of months ago.

Although a digital introduction and meet will never be a substitute for the real thing – it provided us with the opportunity to engage with a variety of interesting companies both as fellow Scottish delegates and as Canadian connections.

With a whole range of speakers covering the intricacies of entering the Canadian market as well as discussion on the whole range of cultural similarities between the province and Scotland.

Lochaber Chamber plan to run another mission in November to which we would certainly recommend to a friend!

https://www.lochaberchamber.co.uk/2020/09/trade-mission-takes-us-to-nova-scotia-virtually/

Thomas Telford Corpach Marina construction has begun!

Last week seen Corpach Marina Phase 1 contractors George Leslie begin work on site at Corpach – a momentous occasion for the Thomas Telford Marina project.

This project has overcome many hurdles in reaching this stage, not to mention a delayed start due to the impact of lockdown restrictions, but with necessary precautions in place it is all systems go.

After years of planning, consultation, detailed design work and lease negotiations we are delighted for CRC, we are pleased to support them on this project and are sure of exciting times ahead for Thomas Telford Corpach Marina.

For all updates on the project please visit: http://www.corpachmarina.co.uk/latest-news/