Dounreay’s training and development team has become the first of its potential spin-out businesses to move off the site.
The 12-strong group has relocated to a business centre in Thurso where there are better prospects for growth.
It will continue to service the training and development needs of Dounreay from the new base at Naver Business Centre.
But the switch opens up new business opportunities for the team’s services in other sectors as well.
The diversification is part of the site’s commitment to the local economic regeneration plan for Caithness and north Sutherland as the area adjusts to the closure of the site.
“Meeting the training and development needs of Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd and its project contractors will continue to be a very important part of our work for the immediate future,” explained training and development manager Jillian Bundy.
“The relocation gives us the potential to grow other business alongside our traditional clients. The aim is to build up a diversified portfolio of work that can be sustained beyond the rundown and closure of the site.
“We are now better positioned to take advantage of opportunities presented by the development of the National Skills Academy Nuclear, through which we are funded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.
“And by working closely with North Highland College UHI and the t3UK test and trials centre across the spectrum of training, development and education, together we can strengthen the marketing prospects of Caithness to potential inward investors, such as in the marine energy field.”
The new business will operate under the brand name Training at Naver.
It provides a wide range of training services, from vehicle training to health and safety and leadership and management. Training at Naver also provides a high-tech business meeting and conference location.
Existing and potential clients are being invited to see the new business at work and tour the premises during a series of open days starting this Friday (November 14).
“Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd is committed to delivering the site closure programme in a way that allows the economy to benefit from the large skills base here when it is no longer needed to decommission the site,” explained Michael Dunnett, head of human resources at DSRL.
“The training and development team is a good example of a skilled workforce with the potential to adapt and grow in non-nuclear areas of business. Relocating it away from the licensed site is the first step towards realising that potential.”
Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross MP John Thurso said: "Creating new businesses which can be spun out from Dounreay is an important element in the regeneration strategy. I visited Training at Naver not long ago and it is clear that there is great potential for a stand-alone business. The group deserves to succeed."
Roy Kirk, area manager for Highlands and Islands Enterprise, welcomed the development. “This shows the commitment of the Dounreay site in taking positive action not only to decommission Dounreay but also in forward planning and to help develop sustainable businesses in the Caithness and North Sutherland communities," he said.
Tim O’Brien, director of t3UK, said: “We are delighted to be working closely with Training at Naver and look forward to using the new service they provide to help maintain JGC’s qualified and experienced workforce. We also look forward to providing Training at Naver with every assistance at our t3UK test, trials and training centre to assist Jillian and her team wherever possible. We wish them every success.”