HIE sets out plan for green jobs and inclusive recovery
1st June 2021
Scotland's development agency for the Highlands and Islands has set out its plans to create jobs and support an inclusive and green economic recovery over the coming year.
Action for Jobs and Communities is the Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) operating plan for 2021-22.
It includes targets to support more than 700 jobs, increase business turnover by more than £80m and secure £60m-£80m in capital asset investment, including green investment.
The agency also plans to support 30-40 income generating assets for communities and increase social economy turnover by £3m-£4m.
Resilience support will focus on sectors such as tourism and food and drink, as well as island, rural and disadvantaged areas most impacted by COVID-19 and the UK's exit from the European Union.
HIE will also pursue new opportunities for employment and business growth in evolving sectors such as life sciences, energy, space and the marine economy, where the region has many natural advantages.
Other priorities include supporting projects linked to population resilience and talent attraction, and accelerating progress in the just transition to net zero emissions.
Collaboration with partners at local, regional and national levels is a theme that will continue to run across all HIE activities.
Charlotte Wright, HIE chief executive, said:"We are delighted to publish our operating plan for the year ahead. This is about resilience, restart and green recovery. It's about developing and pursuing opportunities that will generate significant growth in the medium to long-term, especially in our islands and rural mainland areas. And it's about attracting talent and retaining rural populations.
"Jobs and communities are our prime focus, whether we are leading projects, supporting third parties, or working with partners to help create a better future for our region and its people.
"All of this means targeting our resources to maximise benefits, while being a strong and passionate voice for the Highlands and Islands that informs national decisions and attracts additional investment."
Alistair Dodds, chair of HIE, said:"This operating plan responds to both the pandemic and the changes introduced by the UK's exit from the European Union. Its development has been informed by our experiences over the past year, by the views of our customers and partners, and by our vision and ambition for this region, which remain as strong as ever.
"We look forward to implementing the plan in ways that benefit all parts of the Highlands and Islands and ensure our region plays a full role in Scotland's economic recovery and transition to net zero."
A Lewis man who recently moved to Shetland has been awarded funding from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to help make kite energy a reality. Rod Read set up his company, Windswept and Interesting Ltd in 2012 when he started developing kite turbines.
The current phase of engineering works to strengthen the 1.9km viaduct that supports the railway track began in April 2021, with the aim of returning the funicular to service early next year. However, despite strong progress made in tough conditions, HIE has concluded that the planned timescale now needs to extend into the second half of 2022.
Orkney Cheese Company Limited is investing in a £925,000 refurbishment project, which is set to increase production, create jobs and help the company reach new markets over the next three years. Significant improvements will be made at the Hatston Industrial Estate based facility in Kirkwall.
There are currently several opportunities, across a broad range of disciplines for Graduates, from HNC to Post Graduate, to apply for within Businesses and Social Enterprises across Caithness and Sutherland. To register an interest please forward the following information email@example.com mid-day 17th September 2021: Full Name Educational Institute Award Attained and Subject Year of Graduation(e.g., 2020) Any additional subject/graduate position interests E-Mail Address Legally permitted towork in the UK (Yes / No) Available to work from Caithness or Sutherland (Yes / No) The details provided will be forwarded to the Businesses and Social Enterprises that have current vacancies and they will arrange to contact the Graduates direct.
Another 22 young business leaders from around the Highlands and Islands have become the latest to take part in a year-long programme aimed at developing the next generation of entrepreneurs. The IMPACT30 programme is open to people aged 35 and under who are in key decision-making roles in young, ambitious businesses.
For the 5th year running HIE has joined forces with SE and SOSE to fund the RLP, which is aimed at business managers and employees from rural businesses (both private/social enterprises), who have a desire to develop their leadership skills and grow their business. In previous years farmers and land-based consultancies have dominated the cohorts, HIE are keen to promote the opportunity to rural businesses across the sectoral mix we have in our rural economy.
Plans for Caithness to become the host site for a prototype generator for one of the world's most efficient, cleanest and lowest carbon forms of energy have taken a step forward. A bid to host the Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP) prototype fusion power plant was submitted by the Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership (CNSRP) in March.
The mountain resort will enhance its summer offering with a new blue accessed gondola trail that, once completed, will be the UK's longest uplift accessed mountain bike trail. A new and more convenient controlled entry car parking system will also be installed for summer 2021 which will allow visitors the option to pre-purchase parking tickets online.
Virtual taster sessions are arranged for 24 June and 28 July for Pathfinder Accelerator, which is a six-month programme designed to help participants build a company or launch a new product saving time and money. Developed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), the programme provides fast-track training and mentoring and will be delivered completely online.
IMPACT30 is a fully funded business growth programme, offering bespoke support from industry specialists. The deadline for the next round of applications is 21 June.