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Our region

The Highlands and Islands of Scotland is a diverse landscape with a unique geography, character and culture. We aim to capitalise on our distinct natural assets and focus on building a green economic recovery.

Our regional opportunities

Our region will play a significant and transformational role in the national journey to net zero emissions by 2045. We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to drive economic growth on a massive scale which will enable:

  • the reversal of population decline;
  • support the conditions for growth and a green recovery;
  • build successful, resilient enterprises; and
  • enable strong, capable and resourceful communities.

Our region at a glance

Rich in natural and environmental assets, the Highlands and Islands has:

Published on 22/11/2023


of the UK's coastline


inhabited islands


people per sq km


of Scotland's land mass


We aim to capitalise on regional opportunities to attract more people to live, work, study, invest and visit our region. 

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Authenticity, provenance and heritage

Our authenticity, provenance and heritage are key drivers for the tourism, creative industries and food and drink sectors across the region. We will also work to maximise the role of the Gaelic language to add social and economic value.

University of the Highlands and Islands

The University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) is a key asset with world-leading expertise in remote learning and specialisms in marine and environmental science, and health. With over 70 local learning centres across the Highlands and Islands, it can positively contribute to the region's net zero ambition.


Our region has significant opportunities in offshore wind and green hydrogen development and deployment; maximising circular economy opportunities; land use and natural capital; and the decarbonisation of heat. We’re uniquely placed for net zero research, development, and supply chain opportunities and to disproportionately contribute to national targets. Opportunity exists for early decarbonisation of traditional sectors e.g. to establish our region as a low carbon destination.


We have a major advantage in the green and blue economies along with significant ports, harbours and natural assets around aquaculture, marine biotechnology, marine energy, renewable energy and marine environmental services.


With the flexibility of homeworking and good connectivity, we have the opportunity to attract more people to live, work, study and invest in the region.


Our geography offers huge opportunities for spaceports and associated space and aerospace supply chain activities.


Technology and innovation will increase productivity, accelerate a data and digital driven economy. This will help evolve health care, overcoming geographic barriers and supporting delivery of a just transition to net zero.


Growth sectors in the Highlands and Islands

Growth sectors are those which offer distinct competitive advantage across the Highlands and Islands, and often capitalise on the regions enviable natural assets. 

Growth sectors

How we work

Find out more about how we support businesses and communities.

How we work

Browse support

Browse our support section or get in touch to see how we can help you. 

Browse all support services

Base your business here

Looking to locate your business in our region? Find out how we can help. 

Get in touch

If you'd like to have a chat about how we can help you, get in touch. 

Contact us


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