Local enterprise chiefs in the Highlands have defended their latest upbeat projections about how the far north will weather the rundown of jobs at Dounreay. The vision set out by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) would see twice as many new jobs coming on stream than were being shed at the nuclear plant by 2027. Offshore wind, remote servicing of the nuclear industry, and oil and gas are seen as the main growth areas in the diversification of the economy away from its long-time anchor employer. Together they are predicted to create two thirds of the 1500-plus new jobs in Caithness and north Sutherland over the next six years. This compares with the 720 jobs which they believe will have been axed at Dounreay over that time. Should this come true, HIE say that far from wrestling with ongoing depopulation and burgeoning unemployment, the area could have to deal with pressure on housing, education and other public services.
Press & Journal 27th May 2021 read more »