Associate feature: The makings of a strong comeback for the Highlands and Islands

It has become something of a truism to state that 2020 was a difficult year, but for businesses in the Highlands and Islands, it was exceptionally hard.

Independent analysis shows the region is expected to see an estimated loss of between £1.5bn and £2.6bn of GDP for the year, a drop of around 11 to 19 per cent, with the tourism and hospitality sector, an important one for the region, shutdown or heavily curtailed as well as impacts on other sectors. But it is not all bad news.

More than £30m of additional government funding has so far been distributed in the region by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), including the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund (PERF), the Creative, Tourism and Hospitality Enterprises Fund, the Islands Green Recovery funding and the Supporting Communities Fund, as well as HIE’s digital enablement grants and £3m for destination management organisations.

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