Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson and SNP Aird and Loch Ness Councillor Drew Hendry have made a joint call for Highland Council to begin plans to compulsory purchase the Nigg fabrication yard in Easter Ross.
Mr Gibson has lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament whilst Cllr Hendry has lodged a motion in Highland Council calling for positive action to bring the yard back to life.
Their action follows on from a decision KBR to walk away from the site.
Mr Gibson said
"It is good to see that KBR has finally made a decision on where it stands in ending its use of the Nigg yard. I feel that they will regret it in future. However time is of the essence and new owners are needed to allow fresh work to start."
"The work undertaken by Cllr Drew Hendry when he was chair of the Council's Planning, Environment and Development committee, to bring the possibility of a compulsory purchase from Highland Council' needs to be followed up with greater urgency by the new administration. They look to have lost the momentum on the issue. This has helped no one. Therefore the current administration in Highland Council must make purchasing the yard a top priority."
Cllr Hendry said….
"The current situation is completely unsatisfactory and that has not been helped by the delays arising from KBR’s recent actions. Unless Nigg is freed from its current mothballed state then it will see high quality employment seep away to fabrication yards in other countries. The whole of the Highlands could lose out on skilled jobs and a much needed economic boost. That is why it is of the utmost importance that the Council acts quickly to restart its plan for Nigg and the compulsory purchase of the site.
"Nigg is ideally placed to support the Scottish clean renewables energy revolution. Amongst other possibilities, Nigg could be leading the way in producing parts for renewable devices for Europe. There really needs to be swift action on all levels to make sure that Nigg and the jobs it can create does not lose out on this exciting future."
Pictured: Rob in front of the vast potential of Nigg.
Copy of motions submitted:
Rob Gibson (Highlands and Islands) (SNP): That the Parliament notes the decision by KBR to end its interest in the fabrication yard at Nigg, in Easter Ross; welcomes the fact that the company has finally made a decision on its future involvement on the site but condemns KBR for its years of delays and what many perceive as prevarication and neglect that has lead to a lack of investment in the site, leaving Nigg at a competitive disadvantage; calls on the Highland Council to restart its plans for compulsory purchase of the site immediately so that it can allow new owners to breathe new life into the yard; considers that Nigg has great potential to support the renewables revolution in Scotland; contends that this is by far the best use of the yard, and calls on the Scottish Government to work toward this end.
Motion submitted to Highland Council: Nigg is ideally placed to support the Scottish clean renewables energy revolution. Amongst other possibilities, Nigg could be leading the way in producing parts for renewable devices for Europe. There really needs to be swift action on all levels to make sure that Nigg and the jobs it can create does not lose out on this exciting future.