Highands and Islands Convention

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Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth John Swinney will chair the Convention of Highlands and Islands in Elgin today (Monday).

Scottish Government Ministers will join representatives of local authorities, public bodies and economic development agencies at the meeting to discuss issues relevant to the region, including the Highlands and Islands economy, renewable energy, the National Planning Framework and the Year of Natural Scotland.

Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism Fergus Ewing will also attend the Convention at St Giles Church, Elgin.

Speaking ahead of the Convention, Mr Swinney said: “The Highlands and Islands make a major contribution to Scotland’s economy and the Convention provides a strong opportunity for government, public sector partners and agencies to consider future opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

“The Convention in Moray will consider important issues to the region including digital connectivity, renewable energy, youth employment, and also the Year of Natural Scotland in 2013.

“During the meeting we will also discuss the contribution the Highlands and Islands make in strengthening Scotland’s recovery, and how we can work together to build on that by securing new investment and jobs to the region.”

The Highlands and Islands are renowned internationally for their breathtaking scenery and unique natural heritage, the Year of Natural Scotland in 2013 is an opportunity to highlight Scotland’s great natural assets. Before the Convention discusses Year of Natural Scotland, Tourism Minister will visit the Scottish Dolphin Centre at Spey Bay. The Centre, which showcases the local wildlife and scenery, recently won the Marketing Campaign of the Year at the Highland and Islands Tourism Awards.