Fergus Ewing (pictured), the SNP Candidate standing for the Inverness and Nairn constituency, has called for a working group with local businesses and organisation groups to build a Highland recovery plan as lockdown restrictions begin to ease.
Commenting Mr Ewing said:
“The last year has been incredibly difficult for all of us.
“As we emerge from the pandemic and the impacts this had has on our people and our businesses, we need to focus on rebuilding our economy and strengthening our communities.
“Over my time as an elected representative and my time as a Rural Economy Minister, I have seen the strength of Scotland’s businesses and our natural resources.
“We are a country rich with the potential to build our economy further.
“In recent years, I have been involved in many projects to strengthen our Highland economy and jobs.
“An example is the partnership working to secure the £315m Inverness City Region Deal which has brought inward investment straight into the region and supported many local jobs.
“Or indeed the successful campaign for the return of £160m in Common Agricultural Payments to support Scottish farmers.
“These are just a few examples that have shown by working in partnership with our local organisations and business communities, we can achieve great steps forward for our economy.
“In the Highlands, I have seen the impacts that shutting many of our industries over the last year has had on our communities.
“While these have been necessary for the protection of lives, this last year has been an incredibly straining and worrying time for many businesses who are looking now to start planning for the future as restrictions being to be carefully lifted.
“Supporting our rural economy and our business communities remains one of my top priorities.
“I hope if re-elected I can be a leader, with a proven track record of delivering for the Highlands, working in partnership with our local businesses and organisations to build a Highland Recovery Plan.”