Highland Opportunity Ltd to wind up.
Joint news release Highland Opportunity Ltd (HOL) / The Highland Council
The Board of Highland Opportunity Ltd (HOL) has agreed to
commence the wind up of HOL and its subsidiaries and to transfer some of its
services to The Highland Council.
Chair of Highland Opportunity Ltd. Dave Fallows said: “Following consideration of a review of HOL undertaken by Highland Council at our Board meeting on 14 January it is with considerable regret that we had to take this difficult decision to wind up HOL.”
He added: “Highland Council expects to maintain the front
line services of Business Gateway, Loan Fund and Prince’s Trust and there will
be no reduction in these services including in rural areas.”
A recent shareholder review considered whether, in the
current climate of financial constraint on the public sector HOL was the most
efficient way to deliver services.
The review considered a number of options and the Board considered each carefully and agreed that HOL should be wound up and some activities transferred to The Highland Council.
Chair Cllr David Fallows said: “Board Members all voiced their support for the organisation and the valuable work it has done and continues to do across the Highlands. The decision we have taken in no way reflects on the services delivered by HOL and in fact the Board is very much committed to ensuring front-line services continue. However the Board, with regret, did go on to make the decision to bring some activity in-house to Highland Council and to wind up the company.
He added: “Undoubtedly the key issue which influenced this decision is the recognition that the current financial reductions facing the Scottish public sector is having a significant and detrimental impact on The Highland Council which now has to make some extremely difficult choices about where it can reduce budgets and where it needs to continue to deliver services.
“The Board has had to prioritise front-line services and
accept that the cost of management and administrative overheads need to be radically
reduced. This mirrors the decisions that Highland Council will have to
make over the next few weeks as it seeks to balance its own budget.”
The Highland Council is working with HOL to put in place a
plan for the transition of services to the Council and for the transfer and/or
winding up of the other services. This will include support for staff and
a commitment to keep them informed of decisions and processes, some of which
are intended to conclude within the next 6 months.