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Update on Nigg Yard

Issued: 17 Nov 2010

At the start of today's Planning, Environment and Development Committee, members were given an update on the latest developments surrounding the Council's efforts to unlock the potential of the Nigg Fabrication Yard.

Committee Chairman, Councillor Ian Ross reported that he and the Convener have recently written to the landowners expressing concern that the opportunity to realise the undoubted potential of the site is rapidly closing and time is clearly of the essence. They have received a written response stating that the landowners have received bids from a number of parties and there has been intensive discussions as these bids were evaluated, and in many cases, revised during the evaluation process. They are aware of the pending deadline for 10th December for expressions of interest in the National Renewable Infrastructure Fund. The letter went on to say that "they hoped to come to an early decision to nominate a preferred bidder with the prospect of bringing matters to a swift conclusion."

Letters from The Highland Council have also been sent to the UK Government and the Scottish Government seeking assurances of their continued support. The Chairman reported that he has recently received replies from the Minister for Enterprise, Energy, and Tourism, Jim Mather MSP and Scottish Secretary, Michael Moore both giving their firm continued support to the steps taken by the Council.

Councillor Ian Ross said: "Nigg is one of the key locations identified in the National Renewables Infrastructure Plan. The £70 million National Renewables Infrastructure Fund presents an opportunity to secure additional "early" monies to develop the yard so it is vital that a decision about its future is made very soon. Internally the Council has started the process to engage specialist legal advisers to finalise the Back to Back agreement which would allow us to progress the promotion of a Compulsory Purchase Order. Seen very much as a last resort, it does mean we will be prepared to take forward the CPO if there continues to be market failure."

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Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme