Help for communities to invest in renewables
18th September 2015
A new programme to help communities and social enterprises to generate income by investing in commercially owned renewable energy developments has been launched this week, as part of Community Energy Fortnight.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has introduced the programme to deliver one to one support, tailored development workshops and specialist support to raise awareness of, and accelerate, the completion of investment opportunities.
The programme, entitled HI-SHARES, will work in partnership with the Scottish Government CARES programme which exists to support communities with renewable energy developments and work closely with sector stakeholders.
Melanie MacRae, HIE's senior development manager for HI-SHARES, said: "We recognise that some communities might not want to take on the development of a renewable energy project single handed. Investment in shared ownership is an innovative alternative model to enable communities to generate a sustainable income from renewables.
"There are a number of opportunities in the region and we are very pleased to be able to provide this support for our clients. The service will work closely with our existing community organisation clients while also having a focus on our fragile and employment action areas to ensure maximum benefit for the region."
HIE is already helping communities in Mid-Argyll acquire ownership of two wind turbines; one on each of two major planned wind farms. The programme is funding specialist support to help the group develop a strategic plan and engage with relevant organisations. This has the potential to bring long term benefit to local communities and to Argyll more widely.
A new £16 million initiative is to be launched in the Highlands to boost innovation. The Northern Innovation Hub (NIH) will focus on four key industry sectors.
A new residential music studio in the Outer Hebrides is set to capitalise on its scenic location and high-end technology to attract both UK and international recording artists. Black Bay Studio has opened for business on the island of Great Bernera just off the west coast of the Isle of Lewis.
It has never been more important for businesses in the Highlands and Islands to target global markets, writes Martin Johnson, HIE's head of international trade and investment. At the same time global markets have never been more accessible to the region, so we are in a good place.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has appointed a new director of business and sector development. Originally from County Durham, David Oxley joined the organisation in 2004 as head of operations in Lochaber before moving to Forres with his wife and son in 2011 to take up the role of area manager in Moray.
The development of Inverness Campus moves another step forward with tenders being invited to build a second life science building. Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is leading on the development of the campus.
Aerospace and defence sector opportunities in the region highlighted at event Businesses in the Highlands and Islands are being invited to a free workshop to find out how the region can benefit from opportunities in the aerospace, defence, security and space industries. It will be held in at An Lòchran, Inverness Campus on Tuesday 26 September 2017 The event is organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and ADS Scotland which is the Scottish branch of the aerospace, defence, security and space industry trade organisation, ADS.
Over 250 community leaders from across Scotland will meet in Aviemore today and tomorrow (21-22 September) at a national conference to look at the impact and future role of community-led development on Scotland's social and economic fortunes. The event, hosted by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and supported by the Scottish Government, brings together community groups, academia and experts to discuss the vital contribution communities make to Scotland and consider how to support their continuing and increasing ambitions.
Wave Energy Scotland (WES) has just announced over £660K of funding for 13 new projects aiming to develop innovative control systems for wave energy converters. This initiative brings together control systems specialists from mature sectors such as aerospace and oil and gas, to work with Scottish technology developers in addressing the challenges of controlling and integrating Wave Energy Converter (WEC) systems and their components.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise is offering its clients across the region support to protect themselves from cyber attacks, by launching the Cyber Strong business project. Co-inciding with Digital Leaders Cyber Resilience Week (11-15 September 2017), the agency is launching a programme to help local businesses and social enterprises achieve national Cyber Essentials accreditation.
Food and drink businesses looking to grow through innovation are encouraged to register for a free workshop which takes place in Inverness on 31 August. The event will focus on the new ‘Make Innovation Happen' service which provides a single access point for all innovation support to the Scottish food and drink industry.
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