The Highlands and Islands of Scotland need little introduction. The region is famed worldwide for its outstanding natural beauty, fine food and drink, enviable quality of life, and unique history and culture.
It’s also a thriving, modern economy which has been the scene of remarkable progress in recent decades. Employment levels are high. Population is rising. The range of business sectors is diverse.
The Highlands and Islands stretch from Shetland to Argyll and from the Outer Hebrides to Moray. Covering more than half of Scotland, and with a population of just under 450,000, the region’s potential is vast.
HIE is unique in having responsibility for both community and economic development. This breadth of powers sets it apart from any other rural development agency in Europe, and is considered crucial to its success.
Our vision is to make the Highlands and Islands a highly successful and competitive region where increasing numbers of people choose to live, work, study and invest.
To achieve this, we are pursuing four priorities:
Supporting businesses and social enterprises to shape and realise their growth aspirations
Strengthening communities and fragile areas
Developing key sectors, particularly distinctive regional opportunities
Creating the conditions for a competitive and low-carbon region
In line with the Scottish Government’s economic strategy, our growth sectors are creative industries, energy, financial and business services, food and drink, life sciences, sustainable tourism, and universities.
HIE works closely with account managed clients – businesses, social enterprises and communities – forging strong relationships to nurture sustainable growth.
We also develop regionally significant investments which strengthen area economies across the region and contribute to Scotland’s progress.
For further information please refer to the HIE website or follow the links below:
Operating Plan 2012-15
Government Economic Strategy
HIE Gaelic Plan
HIE Review magazine
HIE Annual Report and Accounts 2010-11