Members of Papa Westray Community

Supporting communities

Communities are at the heart of social and economic development throughout the Highlands and Islands.

Focusing on people and place 

Strong, capable and resourceful communities are vital for the social and economic growth of the Highlands and Islands. Our communities generate economic activity, have an important social impact and help to attract new talent to the area.

Our approach to supporting communities is flexible. We listen to you, and collaborate with you, to help you influence long-term change in your own community.

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

Community support programmes

Browse the range of support service below that are available to apply for online. If you'd like to have a chat about how else we can support your community, please get in touch.

Community Assets Knowledge Exchange

Grants of up to £2,000 are available through the Community Assets Knowledge Exchange programme to support training and learning experiences related to owning land or buildings.

Scottish Land Fund

The Scottish Land Fund provides funding for community organisations across Scotland to own land, buildings and other assets.

Community Right to Buy Fund

We have up to £5,000 available to help communities investigate the ownership, register an interest and apply to purchase land and buildings through our Community Right to Buy Fund.

Community assets

Increasing the role of communities in the ownership and management of land and assets

Communities in numbers


voluntary and community groups in our region


of community enterprises been operating for 10 years or more


of community enterprises provide services to public


of community enterprises would like help to attract new talent

The people leading community and social growth

Meet some of the remarkable people, enterprises and organisations we work with every day.

South West Mull and Iona Development

South West Mull & Iona Development was set up in 2010 to help this remote part of Scotland reach its full potential by consulting with the community and focussing on areas of improvement.

The Shieling Project

The Shieling Project, an off-grid learning centre, that invites and encourages everyone to experience outdoor living, harnesses centuries old skills as a blueprint to a more sustainable future.


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

Highland Blindcraft

HIE supports Inverness bases social enterprise, Highland Blincraft, develop and grow its range of employment opportunities.

Westray Development Trust

Hear how the community of Westray use their wind turbine to facilitate other services supporting locals and improving their quality of life.

West Harris Trust

The West Harris Trust were the first community company to purchase its crofting estate from the Scottish Government in 2010. Read more about their journey here.

Isle of Rum

Developing the future of island hydro power


From London consultancy to high quality, ethical fashion production.


Island pioneers sharing learning in the local energy economy.

Cumhachd Shlèite

Find out how the community has developed a scheme with environmental and community benefits.

Visit Unst

An island wide approach - community at the heart of tourism

Loch Ness Hub

What does a community-led tourism project look like?


Arts, education and science combine to explore food production and construction, with positive benefits for our climate


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