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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Council Leader Margaret Davidson Welcomes Green Freeport Announcement

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The Leader of The Highland Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson (pictured), has welcomed the announcement made that the UK and Scottish governments intend to establish two green freeports in Scotland.

The Council is working with partners through the Opportunity Cromarty Firth (OCF) consortium to promote a range of projects that aim to reinforce and optimise Highland’s ongoing contribution to climate action at the national and regional level.

This package of projects capitalises on the area’s natural assets and unique position to support multi-billion-pound offshore wind projects, whilst also securing an economic and social legacy for the area through a robust pipeline of jobs.

The OCF bid ties in with the Council’s ambitions for Highland to be a Green Hub for Scotland as set out in the Future Highland Health and Prosperity Plan which was approved by the Highland Council last year.

The bid would take a big step towards achieving Highland’s vision for net zero outlined in its own Regional Spatial Strategy and how Highland will continue to make a disproportionate contribution to the national decarbonation and renewables commitment and to the transition to net zero.

While details of the Green Freeport bid process are still to be known, Councillor Margaret Davidson has highlighted the huge potential it has to contribute positively to the UK and Scottish Government’s net zero ambitions.

She said:

“The Council fully endorses Opportunity Cromarty Firth’s bid for Green Freeport status.

“This ambitious plan involves working collaboratively with key partners to put the Highlands at the forefront of addressing climate change and sustainable energy requirements in Scotland.

“We need to use our massive potential to generate and convert energy into such as deriving value from our waste, attracting green businesses, greening our HGV fleets and the desperate need to transition to affordable energy efficient homes.

“The merits of a successful bid are game-changing for the whole Highlands.

“It would propel the Highlands to the forefront of the green industrial revolution. 

“Not only would it stimulate further economic activity and investment and make Highland more competitive, but having a coordinated and innovative approach between all public and private sectors will maximise the benefits of regeneration and sustainability of our communities.”

She added:

“To enhance our economic viability for generations to come we need skilled well-paid jobs and opportunities, especially for our young people so they can prosper and carve our careers here in the Highlands.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Opportunity Cromarty Firth as they bring forward their bid.”

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