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Advisory / Counseling Services News

International Focus for Highlands and Islands Businesses
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is boosting the opportunities for its businesses to seek out new international markets.   The development agency is increasing the numbers of Highlands and Islands dedicated staff working within Scottish Development International (SDI), which offers access to business support internationally, including operations in 27 countries.  
HIE Severance Scheme Produces over 2m Annual Saving
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) becomes a leaner organisation this month when 53 members of staff leave their posts through voluntary severance on March 31.   The move is calculated to produce a total of 2.02m of saving each year which will be reallocated to direct support for economic growth across the region.  
HIE Chief Executive To Take On Green Energy RoleThumbnail for article : HIE Chief Executive To Take On Green Energy Role
Sandy Cumming CBE, Chief Executive of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) for the past nine and a half years, plans to leave the organisation next month and take on a new, national role.   Mr Cumming (57), is the Scottish Government's choice to help spearhead the development of renewable offshore energy across the public sector in Scotland.  
Highlands and Islands Enterprise To Cut Staff Numbers
HIE efficiency drive aims to put more resources towards priorities Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is to reorganise its workforce to better deliver its role in supporting the region's economic and community development.   The agency is to target greater resources towards a number of priority areas of work, while also running a voluntary severance scheme with the aim of reducing staff numbers and payroll costs overall.  
Leading World Entrepeneur To Share His Skills In Highlands & Islands
One of the world's leading experts on entrepreneurship is urging businesses in the Highlands and Islands to change their mindset to become globally successful.   Serial entrepreneur and founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Entrepreneurship Center, Ken Morse, believes creating the right environment for businesses to flourish will come about by successful business people passing on their skills to the next generation.  
Highlands and Islands fragile communities to get online advice
People working to grow some of the Highlands and Islands most fragile communities are to benefit from free online access to a range of top tips and advice.   The Scottish Community Land Network (SCLN) website, funded by HIE, has published a training package aimed at supporting anyone involved in community driven activities.  
500th Request For Business Assistance
The Business information and advice service for the Highland and Moray Councils which is delivered by The Highland Council's Enterprise Trust, Highland Opportunity Limited, has just reached its first major milestone today with at total of 500 requests for advice and assistance having been received since the service started on 1st April.   Enquiries to Business Gateway have come via the national website and the national telephone number 0845 609 6611 and 30% of enquiries have come from people visiting the walk-in shops in Inverness and Elgin where business advisers are on hand to answer queries and provide information.  
'Everybody Online - Caithness'
'Everybody Online - Caithness', the first project of its kind in the Highlands, is being launched to allow locals who have never had the chance to use the internet to discover what it can do.  The project being funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), with the support of BT Scotland, is run by a national charity 'Citizens Online' and aims to use technology to help communities counter social disadvantage.  
HIE Commissions Firm To Plan New Future For John o GroatsThumbnail for article : HIE Commissions Firm To Plan New Future For John o Groats
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has commissioned Edinburgh based planning consultants GVA Grimley to produce a physical masterplan for John O'Groats.  The masterplan will provide a sustainable long term model for creating an iconic visitor attraction which will include retail outlets, food and drink offerings and various levels of tourist accommodation.  
Plans For 1 Million Upgrade To Wick High School Unveiled
Plans for a 1 million upgrade of Wick High School have been unveiled to staff and parent representatives.   It is hoped that work can start during the summer following a competitive tendering process on a 25-week contract to extend the dining facilities and upgrade and extend the gymnasium changing facilities.  
Caithness Voluntary Group Funding Workshops
LEADER funding workshops are being arranged by Caithness Voluntary Group for venues in Wick and Thurso at the end of this month.   The sessions, which are free of charge, are being presented by Highland LEADER development officer Fiona Cameron.  
International Help For Local Businesses
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is launching an extended programme of international trade development events for 2009.   One of the aims of the programme will be to maximise the benefits to local businesses of the new direct flights between Inverness and Dusseldorf in Germany.  
HIE Launches Free Business Advice LineThumbnail for article : HIE Launches Free Business Advice Line
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) today formally launches a campaign to assist businesses to navigate their way through the current economic downturn.   The agency has set up a dedicated advice line with business experts on 08000 884 884 offering free tailored advice to businesses of any size and in any sector.  
Breeder element removal tool installed in fast reactorThumbnail for article : Breeder element removal tool installed in fast reactor
A versatile remotely-operated machine that will cut the heart out of Dounreay's fast reactor has been installed in the sphere.   The retrieval cell is a highly engineered tool that will reach down inside the reactor vessel and remove the remaining breeder elements in a delicate and precise operation.  
HIE Announces Measures To Help Regions Businesses
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) today announced some newly available initiatives, with others soon to be put in place, to help the region's businesses through the current economic difficulties.   Chair Willy Roe explained: "The economic situation is extremely challenging and businesses in the region are facing very difficult times.  
A new survey is being funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to draw together current data relevant to marine energy developments in the Pentland Firth.   By collating the information HIE will be able to help identify gaps that exist in the current data, and underpin future survey work needed to support the industry's development.  
Oban Man Is Recognised As A Top UK Entrepreneur
THE founder of an Oban-based marine biotechnology company - whose groundbreaking work could lead to a cure for MRSA - has been officially recognised as one of the top entrepreneurs in Britain.   Dr Andrew Mearns Spragg, chief executive officer of Aquapharm Biodiscovery Limited, was one of the five regional finalist candidates, in the science and technology sector, to win a place in the national finals of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards.  
Businesses Urged Not To Miss Out On Environmental Savings
When it comes to putting environmental plans into action, companies in the Highlands and Islands could be losing out on savings of up to 1000 per employee.   Challenges currently facing businesses including rising raw material and energy costs, customer expectations and environmental legislation will be discussed at the free Envirowise events held in Wick, Inverness, Fort William and Elgin from 28-31 October.  
Unst Hydrogen Venture Goes From Strength To Strength
The Pure Energy Centre (PEC) in Unst, Shetland is growing globally, helping to put the Shetland Islands on the map for innovative renewable energy and hydrogen developments.   The PEC grew from the Pure Energy Project set up by the Unst Partnership and has seen the development of the first community-owned off-grid renewable hydrogen system in the world.  
Launch Of 2008/09 Rural Leadership Programme
Scottish Enterprise (SE) in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) are launching the successful Rural Leadership Programme (RLP) for the third consecutive year.  Recruitment is taking place immediately, with the programme running throughout the winter/spring of 2008/09 and a follow up conference completing the programme to take place in early summer 2009.