£1 Million Invested Into Highland Businesses
In the last financial year 2007/8 Highland Opportunity Limited (HOL) awarded over £1 million of investment into Highland businesses, matching the previous record level of investment seen in 2005/6.
In a report presented today (Wednesday 28 May) to The Highland Council’s Planning, Development, Europe and Tourism Committee, members were told that 300 Highland jobs created or supported through HOL’s activity last year, again matching the previous record from 2 years ago.
HOL is the Highland Council’s business development company, which aims to create and sustain employment in the Highlands through active support to businesses and communities. The Council has an annual contract with HOL who undertake to deliver a number of services to set targets including providing discretionary loan finance to SMEs and community enterprises, support services to businesses and practical help for young entrepreneurs. HOL is also the operating agency for Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust in the Highlands and hosts the Enterprise Europe Network office on behalf of the European Commission.
Chairman of The Highland Council’s Planning, Environment and Development Committee, Councillor Drew Hendry said: “This performance shows that a culture of enterprise is growing across the Highlands from a range of entrepreneurs. All sectors are taking part, from manufacturing and tourism through to local food produce.
“The Council’s support for HOL fits in with our Administrations aims, to work with the Scottish Government, the business community and statutory development bodies to develop services and infrastructure that reflects the needs of Highland businesses and creates employment opportunities.”
After the presentation of the report, Members approved the renewal of HOL’s contract and agreed targets to measure the service delivery for the next 12 months.