HIE will continue in its present form, says Chairman
25th November 2016
The chairman of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has said he is fully confident about the future of the organisation.
Responding to reports this week, speculating about the agencies future following the Scottish Government's review of enterprise and skills bodies, Professor Lorne Crerar, said he had had absolute reassurance from Scottish Government that HIE will continue in its present form.
"The report on Phase 1 of the Enterprise and Skills Review made very clear that HIE will continue to manage and direct dedicated support for economic and community development across the region.
"The Review has recognised the outstanding success of HIE. Indeed it is testament to that success that there is to be a South of Scotland Agency to replicate the impact HIE has had for businesses and communities across the very diverse economies of our region.
"There will be changes at Board level, with the formation of a new overarching strategic Board to oversee the activities of all the enterprise and skills bodies, which of course includes HIE.
"The Governance arrangements for HIE and how its Board operates has been an important factor in the organisation's success by ensuring the actions we take are cognisant and reflective of the variety of interests and priorities of our businesses and communities.
"We are in close contact with Scottish Government to ensure that going forward HIE is not in any way diminished and hopefully enhanced, and that the important features of our governance are replicated and not diluted in any new arrangements for the future."
The report on Phase 1 of the Enterprise and Skills Review stated that: "Recognising the different social, economic and community development challenges facing the Highlands and Islands, we will maintain dedicated support which is locally based, managed and directed by HIE."
In Parliament on Wednesday (23 November), Cabinet Secretary for Education & Skills, John Swinney, said: "Phase 1 of the enterprise and skills review recommended the creation of a new single strategic Scotland-wide statutory board to co-ordinate the activities of Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland and the Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council. Our intention is that, once established, the overarching board will replace individual agency boards while retaining the separate legal status of each of the bodies."
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.
Twenty-three Scottish companies are travelling to Norway this week to highlight the country's expertise at the world's largest aquaculture technology exhibition. Aqua Nor 2017 gets under way in Trondheim on Tuesday (15 August 2017), and runs until Friday (18 August 2017).
The successful North Coast 500 tourist route will need strong co-ordinated support from the public sector to ensure its long term sustainability. Experiences of the initiative should also be shared with groups around the country looking to develop similar projects.
The North Coast 500 (NC500) tourist route, launched in 2015, has had a positive impact on both visitor numbers and business trade. This is according to a new report commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
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