Convention of Highlands and Islands takes place in Inverness

Norette Ferns

Scottish Ministers are meeting in Inverness today, 28 October, for a convention on how to tackle issues affecting the Highlands and Islands.

The main topics of discussion at the Convention of the Highlands and Islands include climate change and population growth as well as economic opportunities related to energy, marine and technologies, and the expected impact of Brexit on rural communities.   

The convention brings together council representatives, enterprise agencies and public sector organisations and will be chaired by Deputy First Minister John Swinney. He will be joined by Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing, External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop, Islands Minister Paul Wheelhouse and Digital Economy Minister Kate Forbes.

Speaking ahead of the convention, Mr Swinney said:

"Input from local authorities and stakeholders is essential when planning for long-term challenges such as population and demography and the global climate emergency. The best way to find shared solutions and to create opportunity from these challenges for the Highlands and Islands is by working together.

"The Convention provides an important platform to strengthen the relationships between national and local government, exchange ideas on the issues that impact communities in the Highlands and Islands, and work together to create sustainable economic growth in the region.

"Ministers will take the opportunity to update members on the transformative digital projects that are underway and to visit organisations and businesses to hear their Brexit concerns first-hand."