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Video: Why make the Inner Moray Firth your next move? Watch to find out.

About the Inner Moray Firth

Home to almost 160,000 people, HIE’s Inner Moray Firth area is the most populated area in the Highlands and Islands. It stretches from the Dornoch Firth in the North, borders Perth and Kinross in the South, heading to Nairn in the east and most of the way along the Great Glen.

It’s a thriving region that includes Inverness City – the Capital of the Highlands, Cairngorms National Park, and one of Scotland’s first Green Freeports. There’s a wealth of business growth and investment opportunities, including renewable energy and offshore wind developments.

Inverness Campus has world-class business facilities and is a prime location for life sciences, digital healthcare and technology organisations. It’s already home to some of the leading health-care businesses in Scotland, and the ideal location for academic, business and research collaborations.

The Inner Moray Firth boasts some of the most beautiful scenery in Scotland across the Beauly, Cromarty and Moray Firth coastlines. It’s home to world famous attractions including Loch Ness and Culloden Battlefield, both within minutes of the vibrant city centre.

Inverness is well served by excellent road, rail and air connections. Inverness Airport offers flights between several domestic and international hubs including Heathrow, Gatwick, and Amsterdam.

Employee at Gael Force group working with bright yellow, thick ropes wearing high vis yellow jacket

Business support

Our local area team work with organisations of all sizes across the Inner Moray Firth area, as well as those looking to locate here.

Our support is flexible and can be tailored to help you grow and scale through funding and investment, innovation, internationalisation and property.

We can help you develop capabilities around new growth markets such as renewable energy, health and life sciences, technology, advanced engineering, manufacturing, and space. We also support organisations working in well-established markets such as food and drink, tourism and creative industries, to adapt and remain competitive.

If you'd like to find out how we can work with you, it's never too early to talk. Get in touch with us today or find out more below. 

Aseptium, based on Inverness Campus

Base your business in the Inner Moray Firth area

As the community and economic development agency for the north of Scotland, we have the connections and support you need to make a move to the Inner Moray Firth area easy. 

From setting up local connections to helping you understand the local jobs market, and from finding the ideal location to accessing critical funding, we have valuable knowledge and insights to share with you.

Our local team have a wealth of knowledge to support businesses of all sizes. If you're looking to exploit opportunities in newer markets such as renewable energy or life sciences, or would like to develop and grow in more established markets including food and drink or tourism, we can help. 

Find out more about how we can help you base your business here or get in touch, we'd love to hear from you. 

Contact us

How we work with you

We pride ourselves on being flexible and adaptable to our client's needs. We don't take a one-size-fits-all approach and recognise many of the challenges businesses face across our region. 

Our team based in the Inner Moray Firth area have a wealth of business and community development knowledge, and we have a far-reaching network of partners we work with. 

Find out a bit more about the support we offer or get in touch to find out how we can work with you. 

Innovation and R&D

We work with organisations to innovate. Why? Because in its simplest form, it's about improvement, adaption and growth. We can provide you with advice, support new developments and provide funding towards your innovation plans. 

We recently supported the Wilderness Group with salary costs towards a graduate placement. Bringing new skills into the business allowed them to focus on process improvements, and driving innovation and efficiencies within the business.

We're also supporting Ross-Shire Engineering on a longer term project to develop a dedicated R&D hub to research, design and develop water treatment solutions suitable for world-wide commercialisation. 

Communities and third sector

Our approach to supporting communities is flexible. We listen to you to make sure we understand your needs and aspirations so that we can work together to influence long-term, lasting changes in your community.

We focus our efforts and invest our resources where we can enhance inclusive growth - growth that benefits everyone - and sustainability. We’re also always looking to increase connections between local businesses, public agencies and community organisations.

We're supporting the Elsie Normington Foundation, a charitable foundation, with capital development costs towards their new Haven Centre. 

We've also awarded funding to Culbokie Community Trust (CCT) towards their Glascairn Community Hub Feasibility Study project.

Expert advice

In addition to our own skilled staff, we have access to specialists covering a range of topics who can help you develop and grow. We can help with strategy development, financial systems and support, sales and marketing, access to finance, digital reviews, human resources, and more.

Businesses benefiting from our specialist advice include ILM Highland and 4cEngineering who focused on strategy development supporting business growth ambitions for both organisations.

We've also been working with Castlecraig Farms who received funding towards feasibility studies and specialist consultancy to support business diversification and sustainability. 

Reach new markets

We can help you reach new markets, locally, nationally and internationally. We can tailor how we work with you to provide support where you need it most. We can help with strategy development, research into market opportunities, or provide funding and investment towards reaching new markets. 

We've recently provided funding to Great Glen Distillery to develop their international strategy which will support the business to realise their exporting ambition and reach new markets. 

We've also awarded funding to Hydrasun Limited towards purchasing a robotic automated loading/unloading machine to support their move towards new markets in energy transition.

Net zero

We help businesses transition to net zero. We all know that working towards lowering emissions benefits the environment but in a business sense, it can also lead to improved efficiencies, reduced costs, new markets and diversification opportunities. 

ILM Highland recently benefited from our Green Jobs Capital Fund allowing them to create 2 new jobs with a focus on reducing their carbon footprint and supporting expansion plans leading to an increase in sales.

Cairngorm Brewery have also been focusing on production efficiencies and have been awarded funding to support their transition towards a net zero operation. 

If your business is in one of the many sectors that qualify for our support, talk to us. Let us know what you’re thinking in terms of growth plans and we’ll see if we are able to help accelerate your journey.
Stephanie Andrew, Head of Business Growth Inner Moray Firth, HIE

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Large blue tanker docked at Cromarty with huge yellow and red offshore wind structures in the background.

Renewable energy developments and opportunities

The renewable energy sector has a wealth of opportunity for business growth and investment, as well as supply chain development, in the Inner Moray Firth area. 

The Port of Cromarty Firth, with its easy access to the North Sea, is an economic hub which provides one in six jobs in the local area. It has the supply chain, skills, and facilities to provide first-class services for cargo and cruise ships, drilling and production companies, renewable energy and decommissioning projects.

Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport

Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport, one of Scotland's first Green Freeports announced in January 2023, is developing to become a world-leading floating offshore wind manufacturing sector. With sites in the Cromarty Firth, Invergordon, Nigg and Inverness, the Freeport will create thousands of new jobs and anticipates attracting £2.6billion in inward investment. In addition to offshore wind manufacturing, it will focus on green hydrogen and creating a new innovation cluster in life sciences. When operational, the Green Freeport will offer a package of tax and customs incentives to support inward investors.

ScotWind

The ScotWind leasing round, announced in January 2022, is the world’s largest commercial round for floating offshore wind. It is anticipated that the 20 projects will result in a total capacity of over 30 GW of offshore wind. In additional to offshore wind, many of the consortia successful in securing lease options through ScotWind have ambitions for green hydrogen. 

ScotWind investment and the developing projects presents a huge range of new energy and export opportunities for Scotland and businesses in the Inner Moray Firth area. 

Man showing the medical device from Corporate Health

Prime location for life sciences, digital healthcare and technology

The Inner Moray Firth area has fast developed a solid foothold in the life sciences sector over the past 30 years. With significant investment and strong collaboration across industry, the NHS, academia, research and government, this is the ideal location to grow your life sciences business.

INVERNESS CAMPUS

Inverness Campus is a world-class business location with pioneering facilities. It brings together businesses, researchers, academia and scientists providing the perfect place to collaborate and innovate.

The Campus is the ideal, purpose-built location for those operating in life sciences, digital healthcare and technology. Developed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the 215-acre site is already a thriving community of technology and life sciences organisations – and there’s room for more. We have flexible land options available, office and lab space and new properties on the way to accommodate others looking to locate here. 

The Life Sciences and Innovation Centre opened in April 2023 on the Campus. The 2500m² building provides facilities for businesses to work collaboratively with academia on innovative life sciences projects. Through the university, access is available to high-tech research equipment and lab conditions for collaborative research. 

Explore more about Inverness Campus or get in touch to find out more about locating your business here. 

LIFESCAN

LifeScan, one of Scotland’s largest medical technology companies, is located in Inverness, employing over 850 staff in the development and manufacturing of blood glucose monitoring devices. Producing 5 billion test strips annually, they supply global markets from their Inverness base.

SCOTLAND’S RURAL COLLEGE

Located on Inverness CampusScotland's Rural College (SRUC) hosts researchers working to improve and maintain animal health and welfare. Work has commenced on a new £11 million rural and veterinary innovation centre on the Campus will enhance SRUC’s expertise in epidemiology and data science, aquaculture, zoonoses, infectious disease control and veterinary surveillance.

Find out more

It’s a unique set-up here, with academics, the public and private sector working together and sharing knowledge and facilities. It’s very much about creating connections – we help them, and they help us. It’s been the ideal place to grow our company.
Pawel de Sternberg Stojalowski, Aseptium

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Who we work with

Have a look at our videos to hear from just a few of the businesses we work with. In their own words, they describe what makes the Highlands and Islands the perfect business location for them.

RSE

RSE





RSE are UK market leaders specialising in water treatment technologies based in the Highlands. They are also investing in young people and the future workforce through the Ross-shire academy.

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Uile Bheist







Uile Bheist (meaning monster in Gaelic) is a brewery and distillery based in Inverness. They are one of the lowest carbon footprint distilleries in the country. Hear more about their story and passion for growth.

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Green Hive






Green Hive is a sustainable community hub supporting local people with a focus on environmental solutions.

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Aquascot

Aquascot Limited





Aquascot is one of the largest employee-owned businesses in Scotland, and one of the UK’s major seafood processors, based in Alness.

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Being in the Highlands and Islands is really important to us. It's part of our vision, it's where we want to be.
John Housego, Partner and Managing Director, Aquascot

CorporateHealth International

CorporateHealth International is a healthcare services company with the mission to bring medical device innovation to scale.

View case study

Colon Capsule that can visualise small bowel and/or colon with an ingestible video camera

Proterra

Proterra Energy specialises in the design and installation and maintenance of renewable energy systems.

View case study

Proterra case study

Soirbheas

Soirbheas, a registered charity, work to strengthen and support the communities of Glen Urquhart and Strathglass, through revenues from local renewable energy schemes.

View case study

Wind turbine

Trees for Life

For over 25 years, Trees for Life, a charitable organisation, has been working to rewild the Scottish Highlands.

View case study

Person Centred Solutions Ltd

Find out how one Highland woman's idea has led to a product which could change lives.

View case study

Craobhan gu Deò

Pròiseact suaicheanta ath-fhiadhachaidh, ag ath-cheangal dhaoine ri nàdar agus a’ cruthachadh obraichean uaine.

View case study

Black Isle Brewery

Based in Munlochy, Scotland’s only organic brewery, Black Isle Brewery, has been awarded a grant from the Scottish Government’s Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund.

View case study

Black Isle brewery logo

MIME Technologies

View case study

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Russwood

For over 25 years Russwood have been supplying high-quality sustainable timber products from their base in the Cairngorm National Park to both domestic and trade customers.

View case study

Two workers lifting wood inside Russwood factory, Newtonmore

Investment and regional opportunities

The natural assets and diverse landscape of the Highlands and Islands, along with established business clusters, has created distinct regional opportunities for growth and investment across our area. In addition to supporting businesses and communities, we also invest and develop large scale projects which bring economic benefits to the region and country.

Explore some of our regional opportunities below.

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