Ceremony recognises Highlands and Islands business achievements

Business leaders from across Scotland gathered in Inverness last night (Friday 7th September) to celebrate success at the annual SCDI Highlands and Islands Business Excellence Awards.

The awards showcased the achievements of organisations from across the Highlands and Islands and celebrated business excellence in a range of sectors – from local authorities initiatives and fish farming, to marine energy and transport – demonstrating the diverse nature of the Highlands and Islands economy.

The awards, which are run by SCDI and supported by high profile sponsors, including SEPA, Crown Estate Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and Liberty British Aluminium, are rigorously judged and provide the opportunity for organisations to be recognised for their businesses achievements.

Awards host and popular comedian, Milton Jones presented the awards.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said:

“I would like to thank SCDI for recognising businesses and organisations who play such an important role, not just in the Highlands and Islands, but for Scotland and the UK.

“The UK Government’s decision to base the UK’s vertical launch spaceport in Sutherland makes this an even more exciting time for the Highlands and Islands, opening up a new horizon of opportunity for businesses to develop. With continued investment in the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal, and the development of other growth deals, the UK Government is committed to helping harness the potential that exists across the north.”

Amongst the winners on the evening was Moray Estates. The company picked up the prestigious SCDI Highlands & Islands Chair’s Award for Outstanding Business Achievement. Moray Estates have shown incredible vision and commitment to the development of their land holdings along the Moray Firth with the creation of the new town at Tornagrain and their partnerships to develop Inverness Airport Business Park and Castle Stuart Golf Links. These projects not only support the business of the estate but help to deliver economic growth for the benefit of the wider area.

Commenting on winning the SCDI Highlands and Islands Chair’s Award the Earl of Moray said:

“We’re delighted to receive this award for our work in the region. Tornagrain is now well underway and is already becoming a very special place to live. We’re also committed to working with others to deliver major projects, whether it’s with HIAL, HIE and Highland Council at the Airport Business Park or with Mark Parsinen at Castle Stuart.”

The SCDI Highlands and Islands Business Excellence Award 2018 winners were:

  • Ferguson Transport and Shipping – Crown Estate Scotland Award for Excellence in a Marine Business
  • Albyn Housing Society – Highlands and Islands Enterprise Award for Excellence in Research & Innovation
  • Alastair Kennedy, Nigg Skills Academy – Liberty British Aluminium Award for Outstanding Business Ambassador
  • Scottish Sea Farms – Scottish Environment Protection Agency Award for Excellence in Environmental Sustainability
  • Port of Cromarty Firth – SCDI Award for Excellence in People Development
  • Moray Estates – SCDI Highlands & Islands Chair’s Award for Outstanding Business Achievement

Jane Cumming, SCDI Highlands & Islands Chair, commented:

“The Highlands and Islands have a strong and vibrant economy that is home to some of Scotland’s most outstanding businesses.

“The SCDI Awards recognises just some of the businesses who have played their part in its success and we commend all of the award winners on their continued investment and growth in the region.

“Last year I launched a call for the formation of an SCDI Rural Commission to draw together relevant interests to face up to the challenges of infrastructure, connectivity and demography – I’m delighted that, under the chairmanship of Chris Gaffney, the Commission is already looking in detail at how we harness the economic potential of all of Scotland and we look forward to engaging more with the business community as it progresses.

“The businesses recognised at the SCDI awards are a fantastic example of our economic strengths. We have a visionary landowner driving economic development, a social housing provider delivering high tech homes to meet our future health needs, and we have businesses around our coast investing in their people, facilities, and innovations to support future growth.”