Work of local group to promote the North Highlands as a top tourism destination
19th November 2013
At yesterday’s (Monday 18 November 2014) Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee, members heard about the work been done by the North Highland Initiative to develop tourism in the Area with Tom Campbell, Chief Executive outlining some of the exciting destination development projects planned over the next 12 months.
The North Highland Initiative (NHI) was launched in August 2005 to promote and develop the economy and to support the rural communities of the North Highlands bringing together the farming community, local businesses and the tourism industry to try to address some of the challenges facing rural communities in the far north of Scotland by creating a powerful regional identity for the area through marketing.
During his presentation Tom Campbell highlighted that in the last 6 months over 3 million people had been reached by the Initiative’s activities which have included attending the Royal Highland Show, launching the Wild North campaign and the 17 events that were run in Caithness and Sutherland as part of the Wild Flower Europe project. He said: “We are focussed on our message that the North Highlands is an incredible part of the UK to visit and we see our role very much as helping communities to develop destinations that tourists will want to visit.”
Tourism is identified as one of Scotland’s key growth sectors and is one of the most important industries for the Highlands with 2012 figures showing tourism to be worth £90m to the Caithness and Sutherland Economy.
Leader of the Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee, Councillor Deirdre Mackay welcomed the chance to hear more about the work of the North Highland Initiative and is delighted the council has entered into a service level agreement that sees £10,000 of funding be given by the Council to help the group to deliver a range of activities and special promotions to market the North Highlands as a must visit destination.
She said: “I’m delighted to see that this industry led group are taking the lead across the North Highlands and the Council has been able to support them. This ties in very nicely with The Highland Council’s Programme commitment to maximise the tourism potential of the Highland by working to ensure effective support is given to communities so promote our unique Highland identities and to help open up new tourism opportunities.
“Next year is an extremely important year for tourism in Scotland with major international events including the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup as well as lots of Homecoming events taking place so we need to ensure local tourism businesses and organisations tap into this huge potential. From what I have heard today the North Highland Initiative have the drive, energy and creativity to do this and we look forward working closely with them to support their efforts in promoting the area as a top tourism destination.”
Recent outcomes of Redesign work were noted by Members at yesterday's Highland Council meeting. In the first year of the programme, 8 redesign projects were undertaken using a "Lean" approach and 36 staff have been trained as facilitators.
Motorists are being advised that The Highland Council is currently preparing to carry out resurfacing works at the following locations: â€¢ B862 Fort Augustus - Whitebridge - Torness - Dores â€“ Inverness Road; specifically at Errogie Village (North Gateway), Errogie Village (South Gateway), and Compass Farm; and â€¢ B851 Errogie â€“ Strathnairn â€“ Daviot Bridge â€“ Culloden Moor Road; specifically at Aberarder House. Advanced works notification signage will be provided at various locations from Thursday 15 March 2018.
The Highland Council has agreed a capital programme of Â£482m over the next 5 years. The Highland Council serves the largest geographical area in Scotland (over 30%) and has just under Â£2bn of assets on its balance sheet comprising, amongst other things, 203 operational schools, over 6,700km of roads and over 2,000 properties.
The Highland Council's Enforcement Officers have stepped up patrols in Caithness in a move to tackle the problem of littering, fly tipping and dog fouling. A number of fixed penalty notices have been issued recently including an Â£80 fine for dog fouling in the Stafford Lane and Back Bridge area of Wick, a Â£200 fine for fly-tipping on Ackergill Street and another Â£80 fine for dog fouling in Lybster.
Speaking ahead of today's Council meeting to agree the Council's Capital Programme for 2018/19 to 2022/23, Cllr Margaret Davidson, Leader of the Highland Council said:- "This programme delivers significant investment in a range of key projects across the Highlands. We are investing in schools, roads, bridges, harbours and flood prevention schemes that will benefit our communities.
Highland Council is to make a special case for extra capital investment in the road infrastructure after a winter period which has seen the Highlands battered by some 57 days of severe weather. Highland Council area is particularly subject to severe winter weather, which has a significant impact on the roads and other infrastructure.
Maps of the Council's gritting routes by priority and policy are available online at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting. The information provided is a summary of reports from operational staff and is intended to give a general indication of typical conditions in each area at a point in time.
The Â£48.5m Wick Community Campus built by Morrison Construction has been announced as a finalist at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2018. The project is entered in the category for "Excellence in Planning for a Successful Economy" against eight other finalists from across the UK with the winner to be announced during a ceremony at Milton Court Concert Hall on 24 May 2018.
A Partnership for Procurement event was held in Inverness today (Thursday 6 March) to raise awareness and the capability of the third sector to successfully bid, supply and deliver services for the public sector. Partnership for Procurement (P4P) is a new initiative funded through the Scottish Government's 10 Year Social Enterprise Strategy; supporting social enterprises and third sector organisations to better access public contracts and build partnerships.
Across the Northern Alliance local authorities an exciting project has been rolled out to raise attainment in literacy, language and communication. The programme is being delivered in around 50% of primary schools across the Northern Alliance and is aimed at supporting practitioners to take a developmental approach to supporting early literacy development.
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