HIE responds to Green Freeport announcement

Stuart Black (HIE)

SCOTLAND’S development agency for the Highlands and Islands has welcomed the news that a bid to secure Green Freeport status for the Cromarty Firth has been successful.

The Opportunity Cromarty Firth (OCF) bid is a collaboration of more than a dozen organisations representing industry, academia and the public sector around the Easter Ross and Inverness area.

The aim is to stimulate transformational regeneration through economic activity in manufacturing, and from local and inward investment, innovation, skills development and employment.

The OCF area has been highlighted as the main location for the UK to benefit from floating wind manufacturing.

Reacting to the news, HIE’s chief executive Stuart Black, said:

“We congratulate Opportunity Cromarty Firth (OCF) on their successful bid. This is fantastic news.

“Our collective belief in the region and the key ports’ capacity and capability to play an essential role in offshore wind and green hydrogen delivery has been confirmed by the dedication, commitment and resolve shown by the bid partners. This paves the way for even greater industry collaboration. The consortium’s physical assets, natural resources, experienced supply chain, and can-do people have proven to be a winning combination that can lead to future success.

“The Highlands and Islands will play a critical role in meeting the challenging net zero targets at both Scotland and UK levels. Green freeport status for the Cromarty Firth will be a huge asset, driving collaboration between industry, academia and the public sector to stimulate transformational regeneration through economic activity, investment, innovation and skills development.

“It will attract large-scale manufacturing and create thousands of green jobs that complement the skills of the local workforce and accelerate Scotland’s and the UK’s progress to achieving net zero targets.

“A green freeport will also build on recent significant investments made in ports and harbours across the region and the historic and ongoing strengths here in energy, engineering and life sciences. 

“It will be a key enabler for supply chains of the future, rapidly accelerating domestic manufacturing capacity in an area with a long-standing industrial heritage.

“We very much look forward to our region working in partnership with OCF, as we seek to secure maximum socio-economic impact, not just around the Cromarty Firth and Inverness but throughout many parts of the Highlands and Islands.”

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