2014 newsletter December issue

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2014 newsletter December issue

Transcript of 2014 newsletter December issue

  • Your guide to stories, news and business opportunities in the Highlands and Islands throughout 2014

    GET INTO 2014 - NEWSLETTERDecember 2014 Issue 9

    2014 EVENTS

    Jan - Dec The Year of Homecoming


    20 Dec Santas Mountain Grotto at Nevis Range, Fort William21 Dec Mid-Winter Walk, Orkney 24 Dec Christmas Eve Celebrations, Kingussie31 Dec Hogmanay @ Mareel, Lerwick 31 Dec Hogmanay in Oban 31 Dec The Red Hot Highland Fling, Inverness 31 Dec 2 Jan An Lanntair Ceilidh Festival, Stornoway


    14 Jan 21 Jan Preparing to Export 2 day wildlife and adventure tourism workshop20 Jan Registering for Self-Employment Workshop, Elgin20 Jan Business Start-Up: Business Planning Workshop, Kirkwall21 Jan Developing a Social Media Strategy Workshop, Inverness 27 Jan Business Start Up Workshop, Lochgilphead 27 Jan Up Helly Aa Festival, Lerwick

    For further details on all of the above events please visit www.hie.co.uk/2014

    Image Credit: Mickey Yule, Nevis Range

    Photo: The Glenisle Hotel provided the venue for the fifth year of Arrans Christmas Festival Santa Sparkle on 29th November and featured a visit from Santa, a

    fireworks display, and a Christmas market full of local food and crafts.

    Christmas is a magical time for children. So, this year, many Highlands and Islands companies are getting into the festive spirit with visits from the star attraction Santa!

    Santa and his reindeer are the guests of honour at the Christmas Eve Celebrations in Kingussie on 24th December. Guests can enjoy festive foods, carol singers and a pipe band at the Courthouse Square while Santa gives gifts to the children.

    For more information: www.kingussie.co.uk

    Santa will also be making an appearance on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st December at Nevis Range, Fort William to welcome visitors to his mountain top grotto. Santa will be in the Snow Goose restaurant at the gondola top station where children will be handed out a small gift. There will be lots of other activities too, all for just the entry cost of a gondola ticket.

    For more information, please visit: www.nevisrange.co.uk


  • December 2014 Page 02Get into 2014 - Newsletter

    Scotland Welcomes the World 2014 www.hie.co.uk

    Following the excitement and magic of Christmas day, Hogmanay offers another big reason for celebration in Scotland.

    It is believed that, in the early 8th and 9th centuries, many of the traditional Hogmanay celebrations were brought to Scotland by the Vikings. Being from even further north, these Norsemen paid particular attention to the arrival of the Winter Solstice and fully intended to celebrate its passing. This tradition continues today with Scotland being renowned for our Hogmanay celebrations, attracting thousands of visitors to the Highlands and Islands.

    In Shetland, where the Viking influence is still strong, New Year is called Yules, deriving from the Scandinavian word for the midwinter festival of Yule. First Footing, where friends, relatives and neighbours visit each other immediately after the bells ring in the New Year, is a common tradition in Shetland and has strong ties to the Viking days. The first person to cross your threshold, traditionally a dark-haired male with gifts of shortbread or whisky, is believed to set your luck for the rest of that year. Mareel, the creative industries centre in Lerwick, which is supported by HIE, is the venue for the Hogmanay celebrations in Shetland this year. The evening will include an open

    mic session, cocktails and music. www.mareel.org

    There are many fun-filled New Years celebrations going on throughout the region this Hogmanay.

    In Stornoway, An Lanntair Ceilidh Festival will run from the 31st December to the 2nd January. An Lanntairs Hogmanay Festival will feature a special event celebrating and showcasing local artists and a family ceilidh with Scottish band Mnran. www.lanntair.com

    Oban will be celebrating local talent with a Hogmanay talent competition at this years New Year celebrations.

    Hogmanay in Oban has something for all the family to enjoy over the festive period. For more details visit: www.hogmanayinoban.co.uk The Red Hot Highland Fling returns to the Highland capital for a Hogmanay celebration featuring the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Mnran and Gaelic Folk Singer Julie Fowlis as well as a fireworks display at the Northern Meeting Park. The Wee Hot Highland Fling, a family-friendly event, begins at midday on 31st December where guests can enjoy street performances on Inverness High Street. www.invernessfestivals.com


  • December 2014 Page 03Get into 2014 - Newsletter

    Scotland Welcomes the World 2014 www.hie.co.uk

    Scotland has enough trees to cover nearly 2 million football pitches, with wood production in the country set to double in the next 20 years. About 10,000 people work in forestry or associated industries, making it a growing part of the Scottish economy.

    Woodland areas provide outstanding natural beauty attracting nearly two million people each year. The Highlands and Islands hosts many activities to help you enjoy the environment all year round.

    Today, over 100 communities across Scotland are taking a bigger part in woodland management. HIE supports Kilfinan Community Forest Company, a charity dedicated to maintaining and developing a 127 hectare native forest near Tighnabruaich. The charity is currently taking part in a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds after the forest was destroyed following a storm last year. You can help to replant the forest by sponsoring your very own native sapling and seeds, dedicating a tree or enjoying a picnic party in the woods.

    Find out more here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sponsor-a-sapling/

    Sleat Community Trust, which owns Tormore Forest as well as a filling station, garage, shop and Post Office, supports sustainable economic, environmental and social

    development in the Sleat Peninsula on the Isle of Skye. They are currently fund-raising to upgrade the petrol pumps. For more details or to donate visit: http://www.sleat.org.uk/

    North West Mull Community Woodland Company in Dervaig owns Langamull and West Ardhu forests on Mull. These woodlands, purchased with assistance from HIE, are a significant asset for the local community, from supplying Christmas trees locally to running one of the islands main wood fuel businesses. To find out more visit: http://nwmullwoodland.co.uk/.

    Chairman, Colin Morrison, said The Company has turned over 700 hectares of landlocked woodland into a community asset. Nine Woodland Crofts have been created and let, allowing both economic and housing development. Locally we employ three people directly both in the charity and through our recently purchased subsidiary company Island Woodfuels. We also have ambitious plans for affordable housing, a micro hydro scheme and improved local access, amenity and educational developments.

    Claire Munro, Community Assets Development Manager, at HIE said: Community ownership is not only a driver for local economic growth, but also offers opportunities for people to engage in the management and development of their environment for the benefit of everyone.

    OH CHRISTMAS TREEPhoto Credit: Kilfinan Commuity Forest Company

    Christmas dinner is less traditional than you might think. Our Christmas meals are constantly evolving as we adopt foods from around the world. Smoked salmon, a common Christmas dinner starter, is actually a Nordic speciality known as Gravad lax. From being Britains first ever home-grown gourmet food, smoked salmon is now mostly mass produced, but the quality and freshness of salmon produced in the Highlands and Islands has given it a global reputation for quality.

    Scottish farmed salmon is key to the local economy. It provides high-quality jobs as well as opportunities for young people. Almost 2,500 people are employed directly by the Scottish industry, many of whom live in remote communities.

    Over 160,000 tonnes of Scottish farmed salmon were produced in the Highlands and Islands region last year. Farmed salmon is the largest food export from Scotland, accounting for around 40% of total value. Exports have more than tripled in the last decade. Last year whole fresh salmon reached over 60 countries worldwide and its overseas markets are currently worth more than 400m a year, highlighting its increasing importance to the Highlands and Islands economy.

    Founded in 1977 and based in Ullapool, Wester Ross Fisheries is the oldest independent salmon farm in Scotland. With a team of 35, it is the largest single employer in town and is run by its four owners who come from the Wester Ross community.

    Wester Ross Fisheries farmers feed salmon exclusively by hand and are on the water every day to observe the fish, resulting in all-natural salmon which has not been treated with antibiotics or hormones. The fish are then processed according to customer specification at a facility in Dingwall. Wester Ross Fisheries is committed to supporting the local community by providing housing for young workers as well as teaching children about farming and how to cook.

    HIE works with partners including Scotland Food and Drink, Event Scotland and Visit Scotland to help businesses in the region maximise the benefits available to them during the Year of Food and Drink. 2015 will give businesses in the region a great opportunity to showcase quality products to both locals and visitors.

    James Withers, Chief Executive at Scotland Food and Drink said: Scotland is blessed with some of the best natural produce in the wor