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Ceremony recognises contribution and success of Highlands and Islands business

Business leaders from across Scotland gathered in Inverness last night (Friday 6th 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 highlighting 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 and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, are rigorously judged and provide the opportunity for organisations to be recognised for their achievements.

Awards host and popular broadcaster, Gyles Brandreth presented the awards.

Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation Ivan McKee said:

“I was delighted to attend the annual SCDI Business Excellence Awards and recognise the achievements of businesses across the Highlands and Islands.

“I also want to congratulate Eden Court on winning the Outstanding Business Achievement Award in recognition of the important part they have played in the local economy and cultural offering in Inverness.

“SCDI have a long and proud history of meeting the challenge of change through innovative and bold thinking. The Scottish Government shares that ambition and that is why our Programme for Government places innovation at the heart of all we do, to ensure we are taking steps now to make sure we are ready to seize the economic opportunities of the future.”

Amongst the winners on the evening was Eden Court. Scotland’s largest combined arts organisation picked up the prestigious SCDI Highlands & Islands Chair’s Award for Outstanding Business Achievement. Eden Court has played an important role in the vibrancy of the Highlands for over four decades and since re-opening in 2008 following the extensive upgrade, it has continued to grow and play an increasing role in the area’s cultural life.

Commenting on winning the SCDI Highlands and Islands Chair’s Award Eden Court Chief Executive, James Mackenzie-Blackman, said:

“This is fantastic recognition of all the hard work put in by the whole team at Eden Court, and all those who have played a part in our journey so far. We’re proud of the work we do, and whilst we’ve come a long way, we know that there continues to be more we can do to play a bigger role in bringing more performances to the Highlands and nurture more of the creative talent that exists around this region.

“Eden Court has a special and important place in the Highlands and as we continue to look at what exciting developments the future might hold, we’ll continue to ensure that we’re open to all and attract the very best theatre, performing arts, visual arts and cinema to Inverness.”

The SCDI Highlands and Islands Business Excellence Award 2019 winners were:

  • Moray First Marine – Crown Estate Scotland Award for Excellence in a Marine Business
  • University of the Highlands and Islands Institute of Health Research and Innovation – Highlands and Islands Enterprise Award for Excellence in Research & Innovation
  • Argyll College UHI – Scottish Environment Protection Agency Award for Excellence in Environmental Sustainability
  • Highland Hospice – SCDI Award for Excellence in People Development
  • Eden Court Highlands – 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 and organisations 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.

“The businesses recognised at the SCDI awards are a fantastic example of our economic strengths. We have an arts organisation at the cultural heart of the Highlands, education institutions making a difference in how they work and supporting business growth and commercialisation, a charity investing in its people and a business leading the way below the water.”