About HIE

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Strategic documents

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Building our future

Our purpose

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is an ambitious organisation with a unique remit that integrates economic and community development. We work in a diverse region which extends from Shetland to Argyll, and from the Outer Hebrides to Moray, covering more than half of Scotland’s land mass.

We are the Scottish Government's economic and community development agency for the north and west of Scotland. Our purpose is to generate sustainable economic growth across the Highlands and Islands. 

Our vision

We want the Highlands and Islands to be a highly successful and competitive region in which increasing numbers of people choose to live, work, study and invest. 

Our priorities

Our Operating Plan 2016-2019 sets out our four priorities, the building blocks of our work for the next three years, in line with Scotland's Economic Strategy. Our priorities are: 

Our 2020 ambitions

We are pursuing a number of long term ambitions and, by 2020, aim to see a region that is:

  • A world-class digital region
  • An international centre for marine renewables
  • Home to more growth businesses operating in international markets
  • Recognised internationally for digital healthcare and marine science expertise
  • Characterised by dynamic, sustainable communities
  • A globally-connected region
  • An attractive region for young people

Download our Operating Plan 2016-19 >

Our region

The Highlands and Islands of Scotland is a spectacular and diverse region, covering more than half of the country including almost 100 inhabited islands. It enjoys a rich history and culture, a healthy economy, a growing population, an expanding workforce, and is benefiting from unprecedented investment in digital and physical connectivity. Find out more about our region >

Our operations

  • HIE operates across offices throughout the Highlands and Islands, including area offices, serving local businesses and communities from the Outer Hebrides to Moray and from Shetland to Argyll.
  • Our Operating Plan outlines the investment priorities for our annual budget and details how we will focus our efforts to meet the aspirations for our region, in line with the national economic strategy.
  • HIE’s equality outcomes articulate how we can maximise our strategic impact through realising economic, social and community benefits for groups of people. Further information on HIE’s approach to equality and diversity is found under Policies and Publications
  • The Scottish Government's skills strategy, Skills for Scotland, also informs HIE's remit.
    The skills strategy highlights the importance to economic growth of equipping people with skills, expertise and knowledge, and ensuring their full and productive use.

    While Skills Development Scotland is the leading body in this field, HIE continues to have a strong interest in aspects of skills in our region. In particular, we support workforce development and help create learning infrastructure.


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