Council’s Green Hub Ambitions
During yesterday’s meeting of The Highland Council members welcomed the chance to discuss the first strand of the Future Highlands Strategy, which focuses on a collaborative approach to make the Highlands the exemplar carbon action region for Scotland.
Councillors acknowledged the vast potential the Highlands has to contribute positively to the UK and Scottish Government’s net zero ambitions through the region’s green energy resources and committed to developing effective partnerships in order to maximise benefits and move forward with proposals – taking a Green First approach to investment priorities.
They also took the opportunity to reaffirm the Council’s endorsement of Opportunity Cromarty Firth and support their bid for Greenport and Freeport status;
The Leader Councillor Margaret Davidson said: “This ambitious plan involves 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.
“While the Opportunity Cromarty Firth Consortium are waiting for the opportunity to bid for Greenport or Freeport status, I am delighted that we have restated our support as it has the potential to be a game changer. It would stimulate further economic activity and investment and make Highland 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: “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.”
Further updates on all five Strategic Partnership Priorities in the Future Highlands Strategy will be brought to future Council meetings