Our priorities

Creating the conditions for a competitive and low carbon region

HIE plays a leading role in developing the conditions that will enable the Highlands and Islands to be a globally competitive region. Modern telecommunications, serviced sites and premises, good transport connections and university education are essential components of a successful region.

Connectivity is vital. We will give top priority to digital connectivity and the creation of a digital region. However, physical transport connections are also essential, both within and for access to and from the region. We will work with transport authorities to inform and influence decisions that affect the region, such as ferry services, road and rail improvements and air route development, which is an important aspect of developing greater
global ambition.

The University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) provides local access to higher education. It is an essential component of the region’s attractiveness and to the realisation of many of our economic opportunities. We
will continue our partnership with UHI, and with other academic institutions.

Building our future 2015-18 we will:

  • Provide superfast broadband to 84% of premises across the Highlands and Islands and develop solutions and identify funding to extend that coverage to 100% by 2020
  • Support businesses and communities across the region to capitalise on digital opportunities
  • Support account managed clients to adopt low carbon business models and opportunities
  • Invest in new business infrastructure and maximise the benefits from existing projects such as Inverness Campus, Enterprise Park Forres and European Marine Science Park, Argyll
  • Support the University of the Highlands and Islands and the wider Scottish university sector in contributing to the region's growth
  • Influence the development of transport infrastructure and service provision to support regional competitiveness
  • Implement the Highlands and Islands Regional Skills Investment Plan in partnership with national and regional partners
  • Promote opportunities for young people, including through graduate placements and science-related developments
  • Deliver a range of Regionally Significant Investments (RSIs) that will deliver long term benefits to the region

Find out more about our work across the region >

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