​​​​​​​Scotgrad Graduate Placement welcomed to the Spirit of the Highlands project  

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The Leader of the Council and Provost of Inverness today welcomed recent history graduate Sophie Gartshore to her role of Data Curation Graduate Placement in the Spirit of the Highlands project team.

Sophie was attending her first virtual meeting of the Spirit of the Highlands Delivery Group, a group co-chaired by Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism Fergus Ewing and Cllr Helen Carmichael, Provost of Inverness and Area.

In her role with the Spirit of the Highlands project, Sophie will have two main areas of focus: to research how data can be captured from a variety of sources and used for the benefit of tourism in the Highlands; and to manage the stories collected through Spirit:Autobiography, where people have shared what they think captures the essence of our Highland spirit.

Sophie recently graduated from the University of Glasgow having successfully completed an Honours degree in History and an MSc in Material Culture and Artefact Studies.

Sophie Gartshore said:

“I’m really excited to be involved with the Spirit of the Highlands project. It is an excellent opportunity for me to gain valuable work experience relevant to my degree – and its such an interesting project too!  In particular, I will be managing the database of stories that captures the spirit of the Highlands, shared by people who know and love this part of the world, and linking the stories to the fantastic collections held in High Life Highland’s museum and galleries.

The other key part of my job will be researching how we can capture data from a variety of sources and use it for the benefit of the wider project and tourism in the Highlands. I’ll also be able to look at examples of good practice here and elsewhere with a view to considering how they could be applied further in this area.”

In the Highlands and Islands, ScotGrad delivers the Graduate Placement Programme on behalf of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). This successful programme is funded by HIE and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).  The aim of the programme is to facilitate change and growth for an organisation which may lead to job creation.

Provost Helen Carmichael said: “We are delighted to have been able to secure a Graduate Placement through Scotgrad and HIE, offering an opportunity for a young person to get some great work experience as part of this project during what is a difficult time for many people looking for work. With her background, Sophie is an ideal person to manage the curation of the stories people have been sharing about what the spirit of the Highlands means to them. These stories will form the basis of content, both online and within the transformed Castle building, that will encourage people to visit and to explore the Highlands and to find out more about our extraordinary and unique area.” 

Everyone who lives, visits and works in the Highlands is invited to get involved in creating the story to be told through Inverness Castle – Spirit of the Highlands. By sharing these stories, people around the world will see the incredible variety and diversity of the Highlands.  The stories can be about our past, the present and the future, and be about whatever sums up the spirit of the Highlands for you - such as environment, culture, people, daily life, work and heritage. Everybody has a story to tell, including you – get involved now by visiting the website and submitting your story at www.spiritofthehighlands.com

The transformation of Inverness Castle is supported by £15 million Scottish Government and £3 million UK Government investment through the city region deal.

Leader of The Highalnd Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson said: “Having Sophie on board will bring up-to-date academic skills and a new perspective to the SOTH team and we all wish her well in her new role.

“The transformation of Inverness Castle is going to contribute greatly to the reinvigoration of tourism across the Highlands and is already providing much needed investment to aid the recovery from the effects of the Covid -19 pandemic. I look forward to seeing the pace of progress pick up during 2021 as work presses ahead to create this “must see” attraction that will celebrate the spirit of the Highlands.”

The Inverness and Highland City Region deal is a joint initiative supported by up to £315m investment from the UK and Scottish governments, The Highland Council, HIE and University of the Highlands and Islands, aimed at stimulating sustainable regional economic growth.

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4 Dec 2020
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