Highland Council to set out plans for Green Hub

Ahead of the Highland Climate Change Conference this week and the Highland Council meeting on 28 October, Council Leader Margaret Davidson highlighted the green ambitions of the Council.

She said: “I am delighted there was cross chamber support at our meeting of Highland Council, on 9 September, for a Future Highlands Strategy, with the development of a Green Energy Hub in Highland at its heart.

“The Highland Climate Change Conference this week and COP26 in Glasgow next month, sets the scene for people and nations to come together to focus on the ecological emergency facing us.

“A report to Council next week will set out more detailed plans for a Green Hub for Scotland, here in Highland.”

Mrs Davidson continued: “This ambitious plan will involve working collaboratively with key partners to put the Highlands at the forefront of addressing climate change and sustainable energy requirements in Scotland, deriving value from our waste, attracting green businesses, green fleet and affordable energy efficient homes.

She went on to say: “We will also be giving our full support to the development of a Greenport in Highland.

 “The Opportunity Cromarty Firth Consortium are awaiting the opportunity to bid for Greenport or Freeport status which would have significant benefits for the whole of the Highlands. Such status would provide a package of measures to stimulate further economic activity and investment and make the area more competitive. A coordinated and innovative approach between all public and private sectors will maximise the benefits, including the regeneration and sustainability of communities.”

The Council is working with a number of partners through the Opportunity Cromarty Firth (OCF) consortium to promote a range of projects that aim to reinforce and optimise Highland’s ongoing contribution to climate action at the national and regional level. This package of projects capitalises on the area’s natural assets and unique position to support multi-billion pound offshore wind projects, whilst also securing an economic and social legacy for the area.

Deputy Leader Cllr Alasdair Christie added: “Achieving the vision of a Green Hub for Scotland in Highland will bring enormous opportunities to our population. One of our biggest challenges is depopulation and young people moving away from the Highlands. We need to provide clear opportunities and affordable, quality housing is essential to encourage inward migration and tackle recruitment and retention.

“Fuel poverty is another enormous problem for our communities. By developing a Green Hub for renewable energy, we can lay the foundations for a more sustainable and brighter future for everyone.”

The Highland Climate Change Conference is taking place online, over two days (Thursday 21 October and Friday 22 October 2021) and details on how to sign up for the conference can be found on the Council’s website.

19 Oct 2021