HIE investment triggered the £6m transformation of John O’Groats.
Caithness and Sutherland covers a large, relatively sparsely populated area at the very north of mainland Scotland.
It is an area of dramatic contrasts. The landscape features iconic mountains and flat, rolling moorlands. High tech industry sits side by side with abundant, diverse wildlife. Economic fragility remains a challenge for several communities, especially in north and west Sutherland.
The former nuclear power plant at Dounreay, which ceased generating electricity in 1994, was at one time the largest employer in Caithness. Today, it continues to play a significant role, as highly technical decommissioning work is scheduled to continue for several years.
Offsetting the major loss of employment which Dounreay decommissioning will eventually cause is a prime focus of Highlands and Islands Enterprise in the area.Show more
HIE's area team also sees great economic potential in harnessing the renewable energy of the Pentland Firth, and developing John O' Groats as a high quality visitor attraction.Show less
SMEs across the Highlands and Islands are being encouraged to attend Venturefest Scotland 2017, the annual summit on innovation taking place at the Glasgow Science Centre on 20 September.
Venturefest Scotland is a national business innovation summit designed to help high-growth Scottish SMEs and ambitious early-stage companies to grow through innovation.
A number of vital community services, including a fuel filling station, post office and community shop, are at the heart of four community owned land initiatives sharing in grants from the Scottish Land Fund.
HIE is encouraging community bodies and third sector organisations across the region to consider applying to the Aspiring Communities Fund. The £18.9 million fund is being run as part of the European Social Fund, with the Scottish Government as lead partner. The deadline for the first round of applications is 7 April.
A £1 million pilot programme to boost innovation in aquaculture in the Highlands and Islands is set to go ahead. HIE approved the funding package and will run the programme in conjunction with the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC).
A Caithness distillery has embarked on a major expansion that will boost its turnover and international sales and create at least one new job. Dunnet Bay Distillery (DBDL) has secured a £64,000 contribution from HIE towards the £248,000 development.
The Morefield site was purchased by the Ullapool Harbour Trust in 2009 and the mixed development of commercial and industrial units and storage facilities is due to be completed in July 2013.
Loch Duart, another HIE account managed
business, is an award-winning independent
Scottish salmon farm based in Sutherland
and the Hebrides.
HIE is supporting two fishermen, with over 50 years experience on the seas between them, to expand their business to attract more tourists to the north west coast of Scotland.
HIE helps Thurso based engineering company successfully diversify into the offshore wind industry.
A £20 million investment programme at Scrabster Harbour is securing jobs and helping to position the north of Scotland at the forefront of the renewables revolution.