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North Highland Initiative (NHI)

  • HRH The Prince of Wales
  • The Prince looks at items from the Mey Selections food range
  • Wool is a sustainable fabric
  • The Prince launches the Mutton Renaissance

The Duke of Rothesay, as The Prince of Wales is known in Scotland, launched the North Highland Initiative (NHI) in August 2005 to promote and develop the economy and to support the rural communities of the North Highlands.

The NHI was formed as a direct result of The Duke’s involvement in bringing together the farming community, local businesses and the tourism industry to try to address some of the challenges facing rural communities in the far north of Scotland by creating a powerful regional identity for the area.  The Board of the Initiative, chaired by David Whiteford OBE, oversees both the strategic and operational direction of the company to ensure that it is aligned with the original objectives created in the establishment of the Initiative by His Royal Highness.

A key objective since the start has been the support of small home farms in the northern counties of the Caithness, Sutherland and Ross-shire.

To further this work a premium is created from using the Mey Selections brand, identifying local provenance and in the case of livestock, high standards of animal welfare and breeding.  The Initiative has been successful in securing and retaining a number of large commercial contracts using this brand and adding value to the food chain for producers.

The North Highlands has some of the most extreme and stunning landscapes in Europe and the NHI's tourism objectives seek to maximise public awareness of these natural assets and increase visitor numbers.  

These efforts to boost the micro-economies of the rural and fragile region are a joint effort with public bodies and private tourism businesses.

The Initiative has approximately 800 members involved in tourism through the area tourism groups and is working with them to help develop projects to enhance the visitor experience. Further information on the tourism work can be found at www.northhighlandsscotland.com

The third operational area is the built environment, which focuses on both the buildings of the past and future. These two strands of our work aim to highlight good, useful buildings within communities, demonstrating how they can help transform places by being a catalyst for regeneration.  

Key projects will highlight the use of traditional building skills and demonstrating the effective use of traditional methods alongside creating sustainable and economically viable buildings brought into a new life and use.

For more information about the North Highland Initiative Group, visit www.north-highlands.co.uk

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