The Highland 2007 Evaluation Report on Scotland’s Year of Highland Culture (PDF 350 kB) was released today by The Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Scottish Government.
The Evaluation Report was produced by the independent Centre for Cultural Policy Research within Glasgow University.
The evaluation was carried out over a three year period, from May 2005 until June 2008, and examined what happened before, during and immediately after Highland 2007. It aimed to measure the success of Highland 2007 in achieving its aims and objectives with particular focus on the process, accountability, impacts and legacy.
Key findings of the report are given in the Executive Summary of the Highland 2007 Evaluation Report, attached.
Highland 2007 aimed to promote the Highlands as a great place to live and to visit through showcasing the unique and special nature of Highland culture past, present and future. The project involved three principal funding agencies: The Highland Council, The Scottish Government, and Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the report highlights “exemplary public partnership working” as one of the key successes of the project. The year-long celebration of Highland culture took place in 2007 and incorporated an exciting range of major and community events, as well as capital projects and cultural activities specifically for young people. In the Evaluation Report, Highland 2007 was noted as being “one of the most ambitious and complex cultural projects ever staged in the UK”.
Linda Fabiani, Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture, said: “Scotland’s Year of Highland Culture in 2007 was significant for many different reasons and this evaluation clearly identifies Highland 2007 as a great example of public sector partnership working. Working in partnership will continue to be vital in promoting the outstanding contribution of the Highlands to the rich and varied culture of Scotland.
“Highland 2007 reached out to so many people, providing a legacy for celebration of Highland culture. It has also set the scene for the fast-approaching Year of Homecoming in 2009 when everyone with a connection to Scotland is being encouraged to ‘come home’ and enjoy Scotland’s achievements and culture.”
Councillor Sandy Park, chair of Highland 2007 and convener of The Highland Council, said: “With over 500 events, 136 capital projects and activities in every Highland school, the extent of Highland 2007 far exceeded everyone’s expectations at the beginning of the project. The Board of Highland 2007 was delighted to work with our concordat of 33 partners and 17 commercial sponsors to achieve the successful outcomes of the year and we look forward to maintaining and building upon the partnerships formed during Highland 2007 to develop the successes and to act upon the lessons learned to positive effect.”
Sandy Cumming, chief executive of HIE, said: "Highland 2007 was designed to celebrate the area's culture past and present. It succeeded in creating social and economic benefits for the region and raising its profile as a dynamic and creative place to live in and visit. There is also a tremendous physical legacy in the projects supported, including the redeveloped Eden Court Theatre in Inverness and the Fàs centre for creative and cultural industries at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Isle of Skye. Highland 2007 brought together national partners in a concordat that forged many national and local partnerships which will continue to generate benefits for the region, building on its positive legacy for the years ahead."