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National Centre for Resilience progress

Published: 28 Sep 2015 10:00

Environment Minister visits Dumfries as work steps up ahead of ‘go live’ date next year.

Scotland's National Centre for Resilience is on track to officially launch in March 2016, Environment Minister Aileen McLeod confirmed today.

Dr McLeod discussed plans with local delivery partners in Dumfries today as work steps up on a dedicated new centre that will enhance Scotland's resilience capability. She said she believes the centre will become a 'national asset' once it is up and running.

She said:

"We already have a great deal of expertise in Scotland in dealing with emergency situations and the new National Centre for Resilience (NCR) will play a key role in supporting our planning for a wide range of situations. The NCR in Dumfries will become a national asset and, as such, something I hope the wider community will take pride in when it is fully operational.

"We are well on track to officially open the centre in March next year and are working hard with a range of partners to ensure the centre quickly delivers a number of resources to help the emergency planning community in Scotland, such as ways to identify vulnerable people and an impact forecasting tool. I am confident the centre will quickly establish itself in Scotland and beyond to become known as a Centre of Excellence for resilience."

David Faichney from SEPA's Flood Unit said:

"We are pleased to support Scottish Government and Ministers with the National Centre for Resilience. We have been involved in this collaboration from the very outset and are committed to contributing to its success. SEPA has considerable relevant experience and skills to offer given our flood forecasting and warning, airborne hazard and other emergency response roles.

"In our view the powerful combination of the 'science' and 'community' elements brought together through the NCR will help develop our resilience in Scotland."

Phil Evans, Government Services Director for the Met Office, said:

"The Met Office is happy to bring our expertise in weather and climate science to support the development and implementation of the Scottish Government's National Centre for Resilience. The Centre provides a platform for us to work with existing and new partners across Scotland to share knowledge and skills to help develop a better understanding of the impacts of natural hazards on the day to day activities of people across Scotland.

"The work within the NCR will help improve, develop and inform Met Office key outputs including our work with SEPA in delivering advice on flood risk through the Scottish Flood Forecasting Service and our support to Transport Scotland in keeping Scotland moving."

The centre, which will operate on a network basis with work taking place across Scotland, will enhance Scotland's resilience capacity by strengthening cooperation amongst academics, responders, and resilience partner organisations as well as communities and individuals operating in the field of resilience, with the aim of reducing and mitigating the impact of disruptive events within Scotland. It will also provide a source of expertise for managing emergency incidents.

Some of the Centre's first operational outputs will include work to identify vulnerable people within the community during emergency incidents and a tool to assist with capacity building by developing and maintaining resilient communities. Other key projects will include the development of science notes supporting science communications and community resilience for specific hazards, starting with landslides and then to include flooding and wind as well as building relationships and cooperation with other resilience partners in the EU.

Longer term, new hazard forecasting tools utilising cutting edge science to better predict natural hazards will be developed with key partners such as the Met Office, SEPA and the British Geological Survey through the Natural Hazard Partnership.

As part of this work the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) is also progressing the research element of the centre with academic partners including the University of Glasgow and Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI) with the mapping of resilience training and research activities. Building on the mapping of gaps and opportunities this work will support resilience practitioners and innovative approaches to resilience training.