Highlands And Island Enterprise Appoints Chief Executive
16th June 2017
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has appointed a new chief executive. Charlotte Wright, who is currently the agency's Director of Business and Sector Development, has held the role of Interim Chief Executive since the end of August last year.
HIE has a budget of £65.9m in 2017-18, including £55.7m from the Scottish Government, to invest in developing businesses, economic sectors and communities across an area which covers half of Scotland, including all inhabited islands.
On the national stage, HIE also co-manages the Scottish Land Fund with Big Lottery Scotland, operates Community Broadband Scotland, and supports cutting edge research and development through a subsidiary company, Wave Energy Scotland.
Recruitment for the chief executive's post got under way in March this year, and attracted widespread interest from a large number of well qualified applicants.
Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, said he was delighted to confirm Charlotte Wright's appointment.
"Charlotte has proven herself as an exceptional leader who is absolutely committed to making a difference in every part of the region, and I am certain she will be a highly effective and inspiring Chief Executive for years to come," said Mr Ewing.
"The Scottish Government and HIE work closely together as part of Team Scotland on economic development and that arrangement works well."
Ms Wright joined HIE 20 years ago, having previously run her own small business and worked in the NHS.
She held several positions with HIE in Lochaber, rising to the position of local enterprise company Chief Executive. She was appointed as the agency’s Regional Director for Highland in 2008, and as Director of Business and Sector development in 2010.
"It has been an absolute privilege to have served HIE in my present post, and I am both delighted and honoured to have been appointed as Chief Executive," said Ms Wright.
“Our results for 2016-17 demonstrate a highly successful set of achievements in very challenging economic circumstances, and our new operating plan for the current year shows that we are as ambitious for every part of our region as we have ever been."
“We will undoubtedly face some challenges in the next few years, as will other parts of the country, but our businesses and communities have proven themselves time and again to be resilient and adaptable to new circumstances.
“I look forward to working with our many partners to ensure the Highlands and Islands continues to punch above its weight as a successful region and make a strong contribution to Scotland’s economic growth.”
Professor Lorne Crerar, Chair of HIE, said: “In Charlotte Wright, I am confident we have found the ideal person to lead HIE into a new chapter. Her combination of experience, skills and passion for the Highlands and Islands made her a clear choice for this position.”
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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