Global Appeal Of Highlands And Islands Continues
28th September 2023
The current financial year is shaping up to be a good one for inward investment to the Highlands and Islands.
Vicky Grant is HIE's head of international trade and investment. She has posted a blog confirming that four projects have already been confirmed this year, representing combined investment of over £1.1m and expected to bring more than 65 jobs.
HIE also reports a strong pipeline of 50 or so enquiries from companies interested in the region as a location for new inward investment projects, nine of which are at an advance stage of engagement, and a further 60 early-stage enquiries.
Vicky Grant said, "It probably goes without saying that investment from companies owned outside of Scotland is crucial in growing the economy of the Highlands and Islands.
"We only have to look at some of the previous projects led by many of the region's largest employers to see the impact it can have.
"In recent years there's BASF in the Outer Hebrides, Orbex in Moray, LifeScan in Inverness, and Webhelp in Argyll. These are all companies owned elsewhere but making significant investment in the region.
“The current interest in the region continues to be diverse and across many sectors. Space, health technology and life sciences all feature strongly, but energy is definitely the dominant theme."
The blog points to the designation of the Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport as generating a lot of additional energy related enquiries, not just at the Freeport site but across wider supply chain opportunities around the region.
Earlier this year Japanese company Sumitomo Electric Industries announced plans to establish a subsea electric cable manufacturing plant in the Highlands. HIE is working with Scottish Development International and other partners to help secure this project, which could see £250m in new investment and create 150 new jobs.
Vicky Grant added, "It takes many months, often years, for inward investment projects to come to fruition but with interest at its current level, we can be optimistic about attracting many new projects in the years ahead."
The West Highland Tea Company is improving the energy efficiency and footprint of its newly leased premises in Mallaig. A manufacturing company in Lochaber has embarked on a £113,300 project to reduce its carbon footprint while increasing production and creating jobs.
The programme enables people to work, earn and learn as a paid employee over a period of 18 months. While gaining valuable work experience the recruits are supported to achieve an industry recognised qualification.
HIE awarded Cultarlann Inbhir Nis £176,800 towards the cost of purchasing the Academy Street building. The charity has reached an agreement in principle with the Church of Scotland to buy it.
Thàinig luchd-labhairt òg na Gàidhlig bho àrd-sgoiltean air feadh sgìre Chomhairle na Gàidhealtachd còmhla ri Leasachadh Sgilean na h-Alba (SDS) agus Comhairle na Gàidhealtachd air Diardaoin 9 Samhain san Eden Court ann an Inbhir Nis, airson a' chiad Siuthad! aghaidh ri aghaidh bho 2019. Tha an tachartas eagraichte le Comhairle na Gàidhealtachd agus SDS le maoineachadh a' tighinn bho Iomairt na Gàidhealtachd 's nan Eilean (HIE) agus Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
A £280,000 project is under way on the west coast island of Islay to upgrade the island's only brewery. Islay Ales Co Ltd has secured up to £54,000 investment from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) towards the project, which will create the equivalent of 2.5 full time jobs and help retain an existing post.
At a time when the debt market is transforming, the British Business Bank is bringing a debt finance roadshow to the Highlands and Moray. In partnership with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Highland Council, the roadshow is a hands-on event tailored for SMEs looking to secure debt financing.
A Shetland-based engineering alliance has been awarded £105,000 from Highland and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to accelerate plans to deliver major floating offshore wind contracts and large-scale energy projects. Norn combines the expertise of four leading engineering firms - Malakoff, Ocean Kinetics, LEF and Voar Energy, all based on the islands.
Twenty six entrepreneurs from the Highland and Islands have started the final edition of a four month programme aimed at putting them on the fast track to success. Pathfinder Accelerator is led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
IMPACT30 is led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and delivered by business skills training consultancy, Skillfluence. The fully funded business growth programme for people aged 35 and under who are in key decision-making roles, offers bespoke support from industry specialists.
There's been further improvement in the confidence businesses in the Highlands and Islands have in Scotland's economic outlook and on the performance of individual enterprises. However, concerns over finances remain prominent.