Our priorities

Strengthening communities - inclusive growth

Scotland’s Economic Strategy highlights the mutual importance of developing a competitive economy and addressing inequalities.

This twin focus fits well with the unique remit of HIE as an economic and community development agency. We will work to promote inclusive growth in a number of ways including:

  • Our Strengthening Communities remit has as its core, addressing some of the challenges of the most remote and fragile parts of our region. Our Community Account Management programme will provide a range of support to communities and we will invest in projects which enable growth and tackle fragility.
  • We will promote the Scottish Business Pledge to organisations that we support.
  • We will empower communities through community asset ownership to lead their own development and become increasingly enterprising.
  • In many parts of the region social enterprises provide valuable employment and the delivery of local services. Social enterprise will continue to be a key focus of our support.
  • We will support young people through providing graduate placement opportunities with organisations across the region and through implementing Scotland’s Youth Employment Strategy.
  • With partners, addressing the challenges of living in remote areas as identified through our Minimum Income Standard research.
  • Continue the rollout of superfast broadband and community broadband solutions, thereby providing digital connectivity and opening up opportunities for geographically remote areas.
  • With partners, strengthen cultural development opportunities for young people, both academic and vocational, in traditional music, Gaelic, crofting and community-led cultural enterprise.
  • Support the development of the University of the Highlands and Islands in providing local access to higher education.
  • Mainstream equality considerations in HIE programmes, and support increased participation of women in leadership programmes.


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