hie events april 2015

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HIE Events April 2015


  • April 2015 Issue No. 02


    Building our future across the Highlands and Islands

    EVENTS Stay up to date with business events across the Highlands and Islands at www.hie.co.uk or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

    Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is developing the Inverness Campus as a world-class location and home to an exciting new collaboration of business, academic and community activity. It is an inspiring location which will help Inverness flourish as the Campus is expected to create new education & research opportunities and many new jobs over the coming years. Ruaraidh MacNeil, Inverness Campus project director at HIE, said Our plan for Inverness Campus is to create a world-class setting for business, research and education. With over 30 acres of parkland and landscaping, it is as much a place for the local community as it is for those studying, living and working here. We are looking forward to Inverness Campus opening to the public in May this year.

    The 100million development is home a number of key organisations including the headquarters of Inverness College UHI and the University of the Highlands and Islands, Britains newest university. This outstanding facility will welcome students from August 2015, apply now to study here.

    The first phase of the 215 acre Inverness Campus will be opened from Saturday 16 May to members of the public who are welcome to visit Campus and experience the 30 acre parkland area. It will be open from this date onwards for you to come along and explore the beautiful paths and cycle ways and to walk across the iconic golden bridge. This spectacular feature will join the internationally recognised Campus to the adjacent Life Science District and beyond to the city centre.



    Welcome to the second edition of our 2015 events newsletter. This is focused on developing a legacy from our 2014 events programme in addition to promoting

    the Year of Food and Drink and marking the 50th anniversary of Highlands and Islands Enterprise. We are looking forward to using this themed year to promote our excellent food and drink offering at a wide range of events and supporting our businesses to make the most of the additional global marketing opportunities presented by the Year of Food and Drink.

    Tourism remains a key sector for HIE and in the last 50 years the region has seen a dramatic transformation from a place of economic disadvantage to a world class destination to visit. This was confirmed in a recent TripAdvisor list in which Arran, Skye, Lewis and Harris have been named among the best UK islands based on tourists reviews.

    Food and drink has played a critical role in the regions economic development and continues to be hugely important for all parts of the Highlands and Islands. This month entries opened to the 11th Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards which will recognise and celebrate the fantastic natural larder of this region.

    We look forward to working with our partners and businesses this year to deliver a successful Year of Food and Drink. For more information click here: www.hifoodanddrinkawards.com

    A REMARKABLE 50 YEARS a word from Alex Paterson

  • April 2015 Page 02Year of Food and Drink 2015


    Cobbs, a Drumnadrochit based bakery, have achieved great success in the events industry since they began selling cakes in 2002. They were one of the 432 Scottish companies to win a 2014 Commonwealth Games contract. In addition they baked bespoke cupcakes for sponsors at the London Olympic Games in 2012 and this is just some of the many events that they have baked for. Their success demonstrates that a small enterprise can compete for large international events contracts. We caught up with Cobbs Business Development Director, Willie Cameron to gain some inside knowledge: How did you get involved in major events such as the London 2012 Olympics and the 2014 Commonwealth Games? As an organisation we read all local and trade press, we are extremely interested in trending and ensure that we know what is going on in the Food and Drink industry. We got the London Olympics related job, and other major sporting events through the old fashioned approach of networking.

    How was the procurement process, was it difficult to secure the contracts for these events?

    The procurement process for some of the larger sporting events took up to three years to develop, so often patience was required.

    How has this benefited your business?

    Our business has changed beyond all recognition, through networking and providing products for large sporting events; we have now developed a niche within the sporting events sector.

    How do you ensure your daily business activities are not negatively affected by these events?

    Our daily business of course has been affected by these events, as we have developed the business to cater for international events so our normal business activities have benefitted also.

    Are you involved in the Year of Food and Drink 2015? How do these themed years benefit Cobbs?

    We use the logo on all direct marketing from the Scotland Food and Drink Toolkit, and believe the themed years bring value to the food and drink offering from our nation.

    What did you gain from showcasing your products at Scot Hot 2015 during Scottish Tourism Week?

    Scot Hot 2015 was very good for us, we met a lot of people who were at the event and off the back of some extraordinary contracts such as The Scottish Open, Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games, we are recognised for our work. Scot Hot is hugely beneficial and brings customers both old and new to our attention and we will continue to attend this event.

    Do you have any tips for similar businesses that want to get involved in major events?

    There are a lot of tips that we can offer businesses who are looking to get involved in major events. Firstly you have to have 100% confidence in your product, a passion about the food and drink business. Be active in gaining knowledge from all sources. Join your local enterprise, chamber of commerce and organisations like Scotland Food and Drink.

    Find out more about Cobbs Commonwealth success here:



    To help mark 50 years of supporting businesses in the Highlands, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), in association with CEIS and Social Enterprise Scotland, are hosting a two-day social enterprise event in Inverness on 10-11 June, bringing together third, public and private sector representatives to explore and discuss innovative solutions, from the UK and internationally, to issues faced by rural businesses.

    The Summit will begin with a conference looking at the future of social enterprise, followed by a trade fair showcasing the diversity of social enterprise in Scotland

    and beyond, during which there will be the opportunity to explore the products and services delivered by social enterprises and the businesses that support their social aims.

    This event will be a fantastic opportunity to network alongside social enterprises, support agencies and the international guests that will be attending.

    Come along and discover more about whats happening in the world of social enterprise. To find out more, visit the event website: www.socialenterprisesummit.org.uk


    Willie Cameron holding the Baton during the 2014 Queens Baton Relay in Inverness. Ewen Weatherspoon

  • April 2015 Page 03Year of Food and Drink 2015


    Scotland Food and Drink have developed a 12-month themed programme for 2015 Year of Food and Drink to inspire and guide your events, see below for this months theme.

    Help us celebrate Award Winning Food in April by entering the

    Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards. Businesses from across the region are being encouraged to enter the prestigious Awards which will have a higher than normal profile during 2015, the Year of Food and Drink. Chris Taylor, Head of Food and Drink and

    Tourism at HIE said: The Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards are an opportunity to showcase the natural larder of our region, which is amongst the best in the world. Previous winners have made great use of their accolade to build their brands and reach new markets.

    The Year of Food and Drink is the perfect time for businesses to apply and once again prove that our produce and producers are world-class. Entry is free, but hurry the deadline is the 8 May.



    JANUARYTraditional Foods

    FEBRUARYThe Food of Love

    MARCHBrewing and Distilling

    APRILAward Winning Food

    MAY Whisky Month

    JUNEThe Future of Food

    JULYSummer Berries and Fruits

    AUGUSTDelicious Dairy


    OCTOBERSustainable Shore

    NOVEMBERHearty and Heartwarming

    DECEMBERGrand Finale

    Shirley and Eddie Spear would be an inspiration to any person wanting to enter in the hospitality industry. Starting out with no professional catering experience, they have made one of the most remote restaurants in Scotland, the Three Chimneys, a world-wide success. Their friendly professional service is central to their success as customers cannot wait to return. This was confirmed when Frank Bruni, a New York Times food critic listed this truly Scottish restaurant and hotel among his five world favourites. This gave a fantastic boost to the west-coast island as guests visit for the exquisite Scottish culinary experience.

    In 1984, my husband, Eddie and I we saw the Th