Cabinet secretary stresses role of public sector in supporting NC500
12th July 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.
These are the views underlined by Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, during a visit to Inverness today (Wednesday 12 July).
Ms Hyslop attended a meeting of the North Coast 500 Working Group, which includes officials from public sector bodies across the north who have joined forces to develop a co-ordinated support plan for the route.
The NC500 was launched in 2015 by the North Highland Initiative. A report commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) estimated it attracted 29,000 visitors and £9 million additional spend in its first year.
The study also highlighted challenges to ensure long term success of the route. These include maintaining the condition of the roads, ensuring sufficient parking, waste facilities and public toilets, and continued efforts to encourage better driving.
Anticipated increased demand for labour will be another challenge, with earlier reports suggesting the NC500 could create upwards of 200 jobs.
Speaking after the meeting, Ms Hyslop said:
"The NC 500 is an excellent example of an innovative project, driven by industry, that is boosting the tourism economy in the Highlands. The role of public sector bodies in ensuring the longer term sustainability of the route is crucial.
"We need to make sure the benefits are shared by communities and business across the north and that the high quality experience for those travelling the route is maintained."
“I am pleased that Highlands and Islands Enterprise is actively sharing its experiences of the NC500 route with other interested groups around the country."
The NC500 Woking Group is chaired by Roy Kirk, Caithness and Sutherland area manager with HIE, who said:
“We have already had interest from other parts of the country, notably the south west, Arran and North Ayrshire. It would be great if the success of the could be replicated in other areas.
“We're all very keen to share our experiences of the route, the benefits and the challenges, and will continue to meet with interested groups around the country.”
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 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).
Short film highlighting infrastructure investments made across the Highlands and Islands and the impacts these investments are having across the energy sector..
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.
More than 160,000 homes and businesses in the Highlands and Islands are now part of the high speed fibre broadband network, thanks to the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) roll-out. Residents in more than 230 Highlands and Islands towns and villages can access the benefits of high speed services following the £146m investment in a next generation broadband network for the region.
[Printer Friendly Version]