Caithness and North Sutherland offers excellent connectivity to help businesses compete and grow in the global marketplace, with air, rail, road and sea connections to the rest of Scotland and beyond, as well as strong mobile and broadband connectivity.
Situated on the outskirts of Wick, and just a half-hour drive from Thurso, Wick John O’Groats Airport offers air connectivity to Aberdeen and beyond, with flights operated 6 days per week by Eastern Airways. There is a Public Service Obligation in place on this route which ensures reliability and a control on prices. As well as scheduled air services, Wick John O’Groats is well set up to handle charter and other private flights, thanks to the services of Far North Aviation.
In addition to commuter services, Wick John O’Groats Airport has a strong track record of servicing commercial operations, including acting as the base for helicopter operations to the Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm.
Digital and Mobile Connectivity
Caithness and North Sutherland have benefited significantly from UK and Scottish Government broadband rollout programmes, and most homes and businesses in the area are now able to access superfast broadband of at least 30 megabits per second. Recent commitments by Scottish Government through their R100 programme to roll out “full fibre” broadband will bring access to speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second. Mobile connectivity in the region is also strong, with most benefitting from a 4G connection.
You can use Ofcom’s mobile and broadband checker service to view broadband and mobile availability throughout Caithness and North Sutherland.
For those few areas which are unable to access the traditional broadband network, a range of innovative alternatives are available including 4G broadband routers and satellite broadband.
Support is also available from UK Government through their Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, which can provide up to £3,500 to businesses and up to £1,500 to individual residences towards the cost of a full-fibre connection.
Renewables developer SIMEC Atlantis Energy has announced ambitions for a tidal-powered data centre in Caithness, with power supplied by private wire from the nearby MeyGen site. The proposed data centre has the potential to attract a hyperscale data centre occupier to the region and to significantly boost the region’s national and international connectivity.