A popular question: what do we do?

A question we often get asked at Northern Light is – what do you guys do?

With the wide breadth of projects we are working on and the varying skillsets within the team the answer to that question is not always straightforward.

We work within the blue economy – yes, but other than using that as a starting point quite frankly there are no rules !

The team remains agile and adaptable, for the Aquaculture UK show last week we shared some videos that were produced by the brilliant in-house graphic design team at R3-IoT.

We are delighted to share the first of these today – as always if you have any questions or have a project in mind that we could support please do get in touch.

Aquaculture UK 2022

What a week at Northern Light!

We were delighted to finally attend the long-awaited Aquaculture UK conference in Aviemore.

It was fantastic to meet with all our friends, colleagues and clients within the industry for a chat! (an in person chat at that…. 😊!) This year were we sharing a stand with our long-standing client R3-IoT.

It was great to have the opportunity to discuss the wide breadth of exciting projects we have been working on recently – roll on 2024!

We are exhibiting at Aquaculture UK 2022!

We are delighted to be exhibiting at Aquaculture UK next week (3rd– 5th May). We will be at stand 304 and look forward to meeting with our colleagues in the industry both old and new.

 After a few years of little to no in-person events we are really looking forward to catching up. If you would like to get in touch prior to the event to arrange a meeting with the team please do get in touch.

If you would like to find out more about the event please visit: https://aquacultureuk.com/

We will see you in Aviemore!

Spring Successes!

In typical Fort William style we have very much had all seasons in one week!! But a glimpse of sunshine (and snow…!) the last few weeks has more than confirmed that Spring is on its way.

Over the last month there has been some exciting news with the third and final phase of the Thomas Telford Corpach Marina & Slipway Fort William funding confirmed. This has been a challenging period for the project – long delays due to covid coupled with a lengthy process to secure final funds. But we are thrilled to see this exciting resource delivered which we are in no doubt will be a fantastic asset to the local community.


Photograph of contract signing: Iain Ferguson, The Write Image, Fort William.

We have also reached completion on another few projects including a Food & Drink Strategy for Argyll and Bute Council and a follow up to a feasibility study we done for Aberdeenshire Council last year. Part 2 consisted of a business case and action plan on how to strategically improve landings, marketing communications and infrastructure at Macduff harbour by way of a 5 year action plan. A great project to work on and we are excited to see how the plan progresses from here.

Meanwhile just across the road from our office, we are pleased to report an important milestone at MOWI’s Blar Mhor processing plant, as the first concrete is poured for foundations for their new extension, which will increase production capacity with state-of-the-art processing equipment, and provide high quality new office and welfare accommodation.  NLC are managing the design and construction of this major project which is due to be completed in 2023.

Northern Light – as always have been adaptable and agile this month with some of the team working remotely… not bad when you can have views like this! (Bonus point if you spot our furry friend..)

Two new and exciting research projects are due to commence next week – one in Tobermory, working to produce an impact assessment for the proposed plans of the first stage development of the Aros Waterfront Project.  The other consists of a feasibility study of a proposed sustainable energy centre in the West highlands, exploring how it may operate, the markets it would target, as well as its location.  We are looking forward to getting started on both!

Looking ahead to May, plans are well under way for the Aquaculture UK conference in Aviemore. We are very much looking forward to the long-awaited conference and to see everyone in-person.

On a final note we are delighted to welcome two new members to our team over the next month and can’t wait to introduce them further in next month’s blog.

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

New year – new innovations!

Happy new year to all colleagues, clients and potential customers! ( Its still ok to say happy new year, right?!) As we enter 2022, the future is bright and the projects coming through are exciting !

We are very much focused on recruitment this year and are hopeful to fill the Assistant PM/ Project Engineer role we have immediately. Finding a suitable candidate for this role has been by no means easy but we are confident 2022 will be the year – please do share far and wide and get in touch if you have any questions. More about the role can be found here: https://hijobs.net/job/230155/assistant-project-manager-project-engineer-site-supervisor

Two large-scale construction projects for our long-standing Aquaculture clients have gathered pace since our December update with one reaching construction stage at the turn of the year and the other recently submitted for Planning.

The Corpach Marina project has turned an exciting corner with funding for phase 3 secured. This will allow purchasing and installation of marina breakwaters, pontoons and linkspan to commence shortly. This provides further assurance that the target of a Summer 2022 opening is achievable.

Following completion of a Feasibility Study for Aberdeenshire Council exploring the possibility of re-establishing a Fish Market at Macduff Harbour, we are delighted to commence part 2 of this project for the council early this year. This project will explore developing a strategic 5 year plan for the harbour and a detailed business case.

We have also begun a project with our colleagues at DWS in Argyll, to develop a Food and Drink Strategy for Argyll & Bute Council. The published strategy will provide the council with short, medium and long term actions that produce positive outcomes for the region and align with Scottish Government policy. NLC are supporting the project by working on two key subject areas Food Security and Public Sector Procurement.  

Our recent work in the nascent seaweed industry continues, and we are now supporting the development of a commercial seaweed farm.

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

Merry Christmas from all at Northern Light

This year, in lieu of Christmas cards and gifts, Northern Light have made a donation to Lochaber Food Bank and Shelter. Both charities are vital all year round but even more so around the Christmas period. After this past 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 and colleagues for their continuing support over the last year and wish them all a very Merry Christmas and happy and healthy 2022!

Beannachdan na r àithe agus gach deagh dhùrachd airson 2022!

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.