The closure of Dounreay will result in major social and economic challenges for the area. Managing this impact on the local area is therefore important to the site. By 2030 only a handful of jobs will remain on the site. A significant number of the current workforce will need alternative employment after Dounreay.

The Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership (CNSRP) is an informal partnership of the main public sector bodies with a remit to address the socio economic effects of decommissioning at Dounreay.  The partners are: Highlands and Islands Enterprise, The Highland Council, Caithness Chamber of Commerce, Skills Development Scotland, The Scottish Government, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Cavendish Dounreay Partnership and Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd.  For further information on CNSRP please click here.

In delivering the Dounreay decommissioning programme:

  • The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) spends more than £177 million a year to decommission the site. A significant part of this is spent in the local economy through salaries and the purchase of goods and services.
  • Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) employs around 1200 staff and a similar number of individuals through the supply chain.
  • It is estimated that over £125m of goods and services are purchased annually, and a significant amount of this expenditure is with companies within Caithness and north Sutherland.

The Energy Act 2004 requires the NDA to consider the socio economic impacts of decommissioning on local communities. DSRL and the Cavendish Dounreay Partnership (CDP) have contractual obligations with the NDA to support the delivery of socio-economic activities. See the Socio-Economic Plan Context document.


The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), Cavendish Dounreay Partnership (CDP) and Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) work closely together, as the Dounreay Socio-Economic Alliance (DSEA). The aim is to align our activities with CNSRP, to maximise the combined resources and ensure a consistent approach to reduce the impact of decommissioning Dounreay.

CNSRP aims to support ventures by looking at the future opportunities for an economy post-Dounreay.

Those directly involved in socio-economic activities are:

  • NDA: Stakeholder Relations & Socio-Economic Manager
  • CDP: Business Support Consultant with socio-economic support
  • DSRL: Socio-Economic Manager with socio-economic support
  • Additional individuals/groups may undertake agreed activities (e.g. secondments to organisations)

The interventions provided by the DSEA to reduce the impact of decommissioning Dounreay are:

  • Capital funding
  • Revenue funding
  • People
  • A combination of the above

In addition to direct NDA socio-economic funding, £500,000 is allocated from the DSRL annual budget for socio-economic interventions.

Dounreay Socio Economic Annual Review 2017-2018

NDA and Dounreay direct funding:

Details of the NDA funding for socio-economic projects can be found on their website.

Dounreay funding enquiries can be made through:

If you wish to discuss a potential application before submitting an enquiry please contact:

Here is the Dounreay funding process procedure.

Each year DSRL develop a rolling three year Dounreay Socio-Economic Plan 2017 – 2020.

Project Profiles on socio-economics can be found here.

Each year, the Dounreay Socio-Economic Alliance provides a round-up of all activities related to socio-economics. See the 2016-17 Socio-economic review.

Dounreay Socio-Economic Board:

The Dounreay Socio-Economic Board comprises:

  • Managing Director, Dounreay (Chair)
  • Deputy Managing Director, Dounreay
  • NDA Programme Manager
  • NDA Stakeholder Relations and Socio-Economic Manager
  • Cavendish Dounreay Partnership support
  • Dounreay Stakeholder Relations and Socio-Economic Manager
  • Dounreay Union lead representative
  • Dounreay Communications Manager

The purpose of the Board is to set the strategic direction and objectives of the Alliance and hold the Dounreay Socio-Economic Delivery Team accountable for delivery. This is Dounreay Socio-Economic Alliance Strategy.

The minutes of the Dounreay Socio-Economic Board can be found here:

February 2016

May 2016

November 2016

February 2017

October 2017