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Highlands fast becoming the beating heart of the Scottish manufacturing sector - 15th May


Nicola Sturgeon declared a “bright new era” for the Scottish highlands with one of her key ministers predicting the north was now “shaking off its chocolate box image and becoming a powerhouse of the modern economy”.

After her keynote address at the National Economic Forum the SNP leader pointed to the £2.6 billion Beatrice offshore windfarm and the £500 million development under way to install the world’s largest tidal energy scheme in the Pentland Firth.

Business, Innovation and Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse also made positive predictions saying “Everyone knows the contribution the highlands and Islands makes through tourism as well as food and drink, but the region can now become a powerhouse of the modern economy

However, this can only be achieved if coupled with public sector investment to ensure the region can cope with the industrial growth. This would require investment into Schools and hospitals within the region as well as an improved infrastructure to accommodate the larger workforce.

Lochaber based businesswoman and mother Anja Baak quizzed the First minister on infrastructure strains placed on such communities. She said: “I’m a member of a parent council of a local school in Fort William and they are really struggling, their budget is going down all the time, and what’s the Scottish government going to do to help with education?”

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