Green Freeport status a "huge shot in the arm for region's economy"

UHI North Highland has welcomed today’s UK and Scottish Government announcement that Green Freeport status will be awarded to the Inverness and Cromarty Firth consortium.

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Green Port Cromarty Firth

The Inverness and Cromarty Firth ports consortium, titled Opportunity Cromarty Firth,  is one of 2 Green Freeports to be awarded in Scotland, with the other awarded to Forth ports, and is hoped to bring major benefits to the economy across the Highlands.

Colleagues across UHI North Highlands’ Thurso, Halkirk, Dornoch and Alness campuses, including the Environmental Research Institute, supported the compilation of the bid that was submitted by the Opportunity Cromarty Firth Consortium during the competition process.

Director of External Engagement & Facilities, Giles Huby, said “This news is a huge shot in the arm for the region’s economy because it will lead to inward investment and long-term careers that will benefit the Renewables supply chain across the Highlands, not just in the Cromarty Firth region.  The Opportunity Cromarty Firth public and private sector consortium includes ports, Renewables companies, UHI and Highland Council – and that team has calculated Green Freeport status will create 25,000 high-quality green jobs and add over £6Bn to the region’s economy”.

UHI North Highland Principal and CEO, Debbie Murray, said “Everyone at UHI North Highland and the wider UHI partnership are delighted to finally have confirmation of the Green Freeport decision for our region.  We see this as an enormous opportunity for us all to support the Green Freeport and the Renewables sector considering our excellent track record in delivering research, skills, apprenticeships, and innovation. We are very proud to have played our part in supporting Opportunity Cromarty Firth so far and look forward to growing that relationship in the future as part of a merged college, with significant collective expertise in engineering, manufacturing innovation and renewable energy.”

Vicki Nairn, Interim Principal and Vice-Chancellor at UHI, welcomed the news saying: “This is an exciting development for communities in our region. We are proud to be supporting the Opportunity Cromarty Firth project by helping to train the future workforce and driving research and innovation in the offshore renewable energy sector. We look forward to continuing our work with the project partners to have a transformational impact on the prospects of our region.”

UHI North Highland will merge with UHI West Highland and UHI Outer Hebrides to form UHI North, West and Hebrides later this year, pending Scottish Government approval.